Fibrocystic breasts

ICD-9: 610.1


Fibrocystic breasts are breasts with palpable lumps or cysts that fluctuate in size with the menstrual cycle. The condition is seen more frequently in women ages 30 to 55 and rarely after menopause. Fibrocystic breast tissue exhibits fluid-filled round or oval cysts, fibrosis, and hyperplasia of the cells lining the milk ducts or lobules of the breast. Fibrocystic breasts are fairly common; more than half of women experience fibrocystic breast changes at some point in their lives. Medical professionals stopped using the term fibrocystic breast disease because fibrocystic breasts are not considered a disease.

Fibrocystic breast illustrating fibroadenoma

FIGURE. Fibrocystic breast illustrating fibroadenoma.


READ:   Fibrocystic breasts: Symptoms and causes

The causes of fibrocystic breasts are not well understood, but they are linked to the hormonal changes associated with ovarian activity. There is a tendency for fibrocystic breasts to run in families.

Signs and Symptoms

There may be widespread lumpiness or a localized mass, usually in the upper, outer quadrant of the breast. Pain, tenderness, and feeling of fullness are likely before menstruation. There can be fluctuating size of breast lumps, nonbloody nipple discharge (rare), and changes in both breasts.

Diagnostic Procedures

Monthly breast self-examinations cannot be overemphasized. Palpation is essential. A mammogram is especially useful if there is any suspicious change in the breast. Ultrasound is particularly helpful in distinguishing between fluid-filled breast cysts and any solid masses. When a suspicious area is discovered through these tests, a biopsy is essential to confirm the diagnosis. The clinical picture of pain, fluctuation in size, and lumpiness helps to differentiate fibrocystic breasts from breast cancer.

READ:   Fibrosis and Simple Cysts in the Breast


No treatment is usually warranted; however, severe pain or large cysts may need treatment. Treatment is usually fine-needle aspiration to draw the fluid from the cyst or, on rare occasions, surgical excision. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce pain; oral contraceptives to lower the hormone levels linked to fibrocystic breasts may be prescribed. Breast pain also may be lessened with a good supportive bra. Caffeine intake may be restricted, salt intake reduced, and a low-fat diet advised because some studies indicate that these steps may reduce symptoms.

Complementary Therapy

Many women take one capsule of evening primrose oil up to three times a day to manage symptoms of fibrocystic breasts. It is believed that evening primrose oil may replace linoleic acid in women who are deficient in this essential fatty acid that can help to make breast tissue less sensitive to hormonal influences. Removing all forms of caffeine from the diet is suggested.

READ:   Fibrocystic Breast Disease: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Client communication

Teach clients how to perform breast self-examinations. Fibrocystic breasts often feel lumpy, and clients can best assess whether the lumps they feel are normal or abnormal.


The prognosis is good, although exacerbations may continue until menopause, after which they subside. Fibrocystic breasts can make breast examination and mammography more difficult to interpret, possibly causing a few early cancerous lesions to be overlooked.


There is no known prevention. Monthly selfexamination of the breasts and regular mammography are advised. Reducing caffeine and fat in the diet are other helpful measures.

Fibrocystic Breast Disease: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Understanding Fibrocystic Breast Disease Fibrocystic breast disease, like fibroids, PMS, and menstrual irregularities are all parts of the continuum of estrogen excess in your body. Fibrocystic breast disease tends to be one of the first symptoms of estrogen dominance. It can affect women of 20 to 50 years and even teenagers. Let’s take a step back so that we can understand the concept of fibrocystic breast disease. When you are growing, estrogen is very necessary. It is most of the time balanced with progesterone. When your body produces estrogen in excess, it flows into different tissues of your body, including the breast, and then the fibrocystic breast disease can become an issue. Fibrocystic breast disease is a type of condition that causes breast pain, non-cancerous breast lumps, and cysts. Most young girls begin their menstruation at the age of 10 nowadays even though historically, the menstruation period began between ages 14 and 16 as recently as one generation ago. Men...
Fibrocystic breasts: Symptoms and causes Overview Fibrocystic breast changes. Fibrocystic breast changes lead to the development of fluid-filled round or oval sacs (cysts) and more prominent scar-like (fibrous) tissue, which can make breasts feel tender, lumpy or ropy. Fibrocystic breasts are composed of tissue that feels lumpy or rope-like in texture. Doctors call this nodular or glandular breast tissue. It's not at all uncommon to have fibrocystic breasts. More than half of women experience fibrocystic breast changes at some point in their lives. In fact, medical professionals have stopped using the term "fibrocystic breast disease" and now simply refer to "fibrocystic breasts" or "fibrocystic breast changes" because having fibrocystic breasts isn't really a disease. Breast changes categorized as fibrocystic are considered normal. Although many women with fibrocystic breasts don't have symptoms, some women experience breast pain, tenderness and lumpiness — especially in the upper, outer area of the breasts. Breast...
Fibrosis and Simple Cysts in the Breast Many breast lumps turn out to be caused by fibrosis and/or cysts, which are non-cancerous (benign) changes in breast tissue that happen in many women at some time in their lives. These changes are sometimes called fibrocystic changes, and used to be called fibrocystic disease. Fibrosis and/or cysts are most common in women of child-bearing age, but they can affect women of any age. They may be found in different parts of the breast and in both breasts at the same time. Fibrosis Fibrosis refers to a large amount of fibrous tissue, the same tissue that ligaments and scar tissue are made of. Areas of fibrosis feel rubbery, firm, or hard to the touch. Cysts A round, movable lump, which might also be tender to the touch, suggests a cyst. Cysts are fluid-filled, round or oval sacs within the breasts. They are most often found in women in their 40s, but they can occur in women of any age. Monthly hormone changes often cause cysts to get bigger and become painful and sometimes more noti...