fibrocystic breast change

fibrocystic breast change

A nonspecific diagnosis for a benign condition characterized by palpable lumps in the breasts, usually associated with pain and tenderness. At least 50% of women of reproductive age have palpably irregular breasts caused by this condition. This benign condition was formerly known as fibrocystic disease of the breast See: breast self-examination

Women with marked lumpiness in one or both breasts have a two to five times greater risk of developing breast cancer. If hyperplasia is present in the lesion, or if there is a family history of breast cancer, the risk of developing breast cancer is greatly increased. Women should practice breast self-examination once a month, about a week after the menstrual period, have a clinician breast exam every 6 months, and, if indicated, a mammography once a year or other screening tests as recommended by their health care providers. Any palpable, distinct, or dominant mass requires immediate evaluation


Some women obtain relief by reducing fat intake in the diet to less than 25%, limiting salt intake premenstrually, eliminating caffeine, foods containing methylxanthines, tobacco products, and alcohol, or by taking complementary remedies such as vitamin E supplements. Occasionally providers may prescribe danazol, an androgenic (male) hormone. Patients with benign symptomatic nodularity or mastalgia often respond well to low-dose oral contraceptives.

Patient care

Emotional support is provided for women who have a heightened awareness or fear of developing breast cancer. Instructing the patient includes discussion and demonstration of breast self-examination, with emphasis placed on the importance of monthly self-exams, periodic mammography, and annual examinations by a health care professional. The accuracy of the patient's self-exam is evaluated by asking her to locate any currently palpable lumps and to describe the present contour and texture (feel) of her breasts (mapping).

If pain and tenderness are bothersome, suggestions include taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory over-the-counter drugs and wearing a well-fitting brassiere day and night.

References in periodicals archive ?
The concept of clinging carcinoma in situ was introduced by Azzopardi1 in 1979 in his remarkable book Problems in Breast Pathology to describe a distinct atypical intraepithelial lesion of the breast that can be mistaken for either normal breast tissue or ordinary fibrocystic breast change.
A related myth is that women who have fibrocystic breast changes (when breast tissue becomes lumpy) are at higher risk for breast cancer.
In lieu of any credible evidence that high-dose iodine is beneficial (other than for patients with fibrocystic breast changes or a few other clinical conditions), routine use of high-dose iodine should cease.
Fibrocystic breast changes are caused by fibroadenoma (which occurs in a much younger age) and fibroadenosis which usually occurs after 35 years.
The cause of fibrocystic breast changes isn't completely understood.
Signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast changes - Dense and lumpy breast - Feeling of fullness in the breasts - Pain and tenderness that tends to be generalized and may radiate to the underarm - Rarely a nipple discharge that's often greenish-brown in color - Breast cysts that are identified on breast ultrasound
Observations reveal that there is an increased incidence of fibrocystic breast changes in women who indulge in coffee, tea, colas, chocolates meat, fried food and other forms of fatty food.
There's no specific treatment for fibrocystic breast changes.
For many years it was thought that fibrocystic breast changes, very common findings in women, predispose an individual to developing breast cancer.
Two hundred thirty-three women with fibrocystic breast changes received Lugol's iodine (consisting of 95% iodide and 5% iodine) orally for two years.
The results of the present study indicate that iodine supplementation is beneficial for a majority of women with fibrocystic breast changes.