What are fibrocystic breasts?
You may have been told that you have fibrocystic breast during annual exam, or like many women, you may experience breast discomfort around your period. Is this normal? Yes, fibrocystic breast are a very common benign condition that many women experience. In fact, more than half of all women will experience some symptoms of fibrocystic breast syndrome in their lifetime. The symptoms of fibrocystic breast symptom include pain or discomfort in both breast or in underarm, and a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the breast. The breast texture may change; you may feel lumps or a rope like texture. The lumps you feel may vary in size, but feel mobile around the tissue. These changes usually occur right before your period, and resolve once your period has begun. The discomfort of fibrocystic breast disease can managed in a variety of ways, from over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, Advil, or Tylenol. Make sure to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and decrease your caffeine intake. Vitamin E supplements can also help decrease the discomfort. Should you come in for any exam? Anytime you have any concern about changes in your breast or discover a new lump, we are happy to see you to exam the breast tissue and take the next steps as needed. If you experience any discharge from the nipples and are not breastfeeding, a breast lump that is present after starting menses, or any skin changes of breast please come in for an exam so we can help determine the cause. Also, remember to perform monthly self-breast exams, so you know what your breasts feel like. If you have any questions or concerns please ask me, I am always happy to help! --Sarah Halfmann, FNP