Fibrocystic breast disease (FBD) is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts of varying sizes, which give the breast a nodular consistency. Typically, FBD worsens premenstrually and may be associated with breast pain and tenderness.
A Answers (4)
Michael T Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered
Fibrocystic breast changes usually affect both breasts. But they can affect just one. You may notice that symptoms tend to be most obvious right before you start your period and are worse during some cycles than others. Symptoms include:
- Breast swelling.
- Breast tenderness or pain. It usually is described as a dull or aching pain, heaviness or soreness.
- Breast lumps. "Generalized breast lumpiness" is used to describe this common cyclic breast symptom. Lumpy (cystic) areas feel more dense when you press on them. Lumps can be moved, rather than feeling anchored to muscle underneath. You may also notice one or more specific lumps that are always in the same area and that grow and shrink with each menstrual cycle.
Many women first notice fibrocystic breast changes when they are in their 30s, when their hormone system begins to change and hormone levels tend to fluctuate more than before.When to see your doctor
If your symptoms start during the 2 weeks before your period, consider waiting through your menstrual period to see if symptoms improve.
Call to schedule an appointment if any of the following occurs:
- You have breast tenderness and miss a menstrual period. This could mean you are pregnant. Contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.
- You have signs of breast infection, including sudden breast swelling, redness or pain with or without a fever.
- You have discharge from your nipple that looks like pus or blood.
- Sharp pain occurs suddenly without a known cause (such as an injury) and has continued for 2 weeks or more.
- Increasing or persistent pain occurs in one or both breasts, particularly if the pain stays in one area of the breast.
- You notice a new lump in your breast that is still there after your menstrual period.
- You notice a dimple or pucker in the skin or nipple.
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Multiple Sclerosis Foundation answeredSymptoms of fibrocystic breast changes differ from person to person. Some women may only experience pain before their periods, others may notice a constant discomfort that may occur throughout both breasts.
The most common complaints include: breast discomfort or tenderness, a dull or heavy pain, a dense or "lumpy" consistency, and nipple sensations, such as itching. These symptoms may get worse before your period starts and subside once your period ends. You might detect a lump that is tender to the touch or easily movable during a monthly breast exam. Over time the lump or lumps may get larger or smaller, and they may become less noticeable after menopause. Finding a lump can be alarming. Remember it could be a benign change, but you should immediately consult your doctor.
Howard S. Smith, Pain Medicine, answeredWith fibrocystic breast changes, you will feel swelling, pain, and lumpiness in both breasts, usually around the time of your menstrual period, because of fluid retention. Sometimes you may feel a sharp pain or burning sensation in the breasts. Most of the symptoms resolve after menopause with the decline in estrogen, unless you are taking hormone replacement therapy.