Fibrocystic Breast Condition (FBC), is a common condition that affects approximately 60% of women, primarily women between the ages of thirty and fifty. It is characterized by lumpiness and usually discomfort in one or both breasts. The lumpiness and discomfort associated with FBC is due to small breast masses or cysts that are benign (non-cancerous). It can vary widely in severity and is less likely after Menopause. This is because it is caused by the normal hormonal changes that go along with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Once the menstrual cycle has stopped (post-Menopause), this condition is much less likely to occur.
FBC can usually be diagnosed by a physician during a physical exam. In some more severe cases, an ultrasound or other testing may be needed to make a proper diagnoses. While the condition in an of itself is not dangerous, it can make it more difficult to detect breast cancer. In Fibrocystic breasts, other tests in addition to mammography may be needed to accurately rule out underlying breast cancer.
The pain and discomfort of FBC can be treated using pain relievers such as acetaminophen and other NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Other treatments can be also used to deal with the hormonal imbalances that are the underlying cause of the problem.
If you have pain or discomfort in one or both of your breasts that occurs around your menstrual cycle, this could be a sign of FBC. Discuss your symptoms with your OBGYN today so he or she can recommend the most appropriate treatment and screening tests to ensure your overall health and the health of your breasts.