Fibrocystic Breast Disease - Lumpy Breasts | Breast Health (Non-Cancerous Breast Issues) | Imaginis - The Women's Health & Wellness Resource Network

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Fibrocystic Breast Disease - Lumpy Breasts

Treatment of Fibrocystic Breasts May Include:

  • Wearing extra support bras
  • Avoiding caffeine (controversial recommendation)
  • Taking oral contraceptives (controversial recommendation)
  • Taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen or Motrin
  • Maintaining a low fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains
  • Applying heat to the breasts
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Taking diuretics
  • Taking vitamin E, vitamin B6, niacin, or other vitamins
  • Taking prescription drugs such as bromocriptine or danazol
  • Surgically removing breast lumps

Breast Health Guidelines For Women With Fibrocystic Breasts

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chances of survival. Women with fibrocystic breasts should follow the same breast health guidelines as other women. These guidelines include breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and screening mammography (beginning at age 40). Having fibrocystic breasts is not a risk factor for breast cancer. However, fibrocystic breasts can sometimes mask the appearance of breast cancer on a mammogram. Therefore, it is very important that women with fibrocystic breasts become familiar with the normal lumpiness and tenderness associated with the condition so that they can readily identify atypical symptoms that may indicate breast cancer. Click here to learn about the warning signs of breast cancer.

Guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer:

  • All women between 20 and 39 years of age should practice monthly breast self-exams and have a physician performed clinical breast exam at least every three years.
  • All women 40 years of age and older should have annual screening mammograms, practice monthly breast self-exams, and have yearly clinical breast exams.
  • Women with a family history of breast cancer or those who test positive for the BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) or BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2) mutations may want to talk to their physicians about beginning annual screening mammograms earlier than age 40, as early as age 25 in some cases.

In some cases, density associated with fibrocystic breasts can mask breast cancer on a mammogram film. Therefore, some women with fibrocystic breasts may be referred for additional breast imaging with ultrasound or may be referred for breast biopsies if breast cancer is suspected.

Additional Resources and References