Fibrocystic breast or fibrocystic breast disease is a condition of breast tissue affecting an estimated 30-60% of women and at least 50% of women of childbearing age. It is characterized by noncancerous breast lumps which can sometimes cause discomfort, often periodically related to hormonal influences from the menstrual cycle.
Symptoms: swelling, tenderness, pain, a thickening of tissue, or lumps in one or both breasts. You may have more swelling or lumps in one breast than the other. Diagnosis: Biopsy or fine needle aspiration are rarely warranted. Fibrocystic breast disease is primarily diagnosed based on the symptoms, clinical breast exam and on a physical exam. The lymph nodes in the axilla area and lower neck are examined.
Treament: There is no widely accepted treatment or prevention strategy for fibrocystic condition. When treatment of symptoms is necessary it follows the same strategies as treatment for cyclical breast pain. It is controversial whether benign breast conditions improve or worsen with oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. A few small-scale studies have indicated that the fibrocystic condition may be improved by dietary changes (especially by a reduced intake of caffeine and related methylxanthines or by a reduced intake of salt) and by vitamin supplements.
Epidemology: The estimated figures for the prevalence of fibrocystic breast changes in women over lifetime vary widely in the literature, with estimates ranging from about 30 to 60 % over about 50 to 60 % to about 60 to 75% of all women.The condition is most common among women between 30 and 50 years of age.