What is it?

Fibrocystic breast disease, commonly called fibrocystic breasts or fibrocystic change, is a benign (noncancerous) condition in which the breasts feel lumpy. Fibrocystic breasts aren’t harmful or dangerous, but may be bothersome or uncomfortable for some women.

What are the symptoms?

You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Swelling.
  • Tenderness.
  • Pain.
  • A thickening of tissue.
  • Lumps in one or both breasts.

You may have more swelling or lumps in one breast than the other. Your symptoms will probably be worse right before your period due to hormonal changes, but you may have symptoms throughout the month. The lumps in fibrocystic breasts tend to fluctuate in size throughout the month and are usually movable. But sometimes if there’s a lot of fibrous tissue, the lumps may be more fixed in one place. You may also experience pain under your arms. Some women have a green or dark brown discharge from their nipples.

What to expect?

If you have been diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease:

  • Contact your GP if you notice a change in the way your breast feel.
  • Some people have found that limiting their caffeine intake, eating a low-fat diet, or taking essential fatty acid supplements will reduce the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. However, there are no studies that show that these or any dietary changes are effective at relieving symptoms.

Think you might have Fibrocystic breast disease?

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Think you might have Fibrocystic breast disease?