The fibrocystic breast condition is one of the most common breast conditions that occur in women. Over 60% of women experience it in a life time and they are benign breast conditions. It is a disease that affects the glandular tissue of the breast and it is caused by the womans normal hormonal variation during the monthly cycle. The two most important hormones, estrogen and progesterone affect directly the tissue of the breasts. They cause the cells in this tissue to grow and multiply. However, these are not the only hormones that have a great role to play in developing fibrocystic disease. The condition may also be caused by variations of prolactin, insulin and thyroid hormone. Statistics show that this type of illness affects primarily women aged 30 and older and it ends to be a problem after menopause.
Women suffering from the fibrocystic breast condition usually experience pain or discomfort in both breasts. Pain can be intermittent and persistent as the symptoms tend to worsen right before the menstrual period. Some women feel their breasts full, swollen and heavy. It is more likely that the fibrocystic disease affects both breasts and not only one.
The main symptom of the fibrocystic condition is however the existence of the fibrocystic lumps. The lumps usually appear on the underarm area and they can be or cannot be felt during a self examination. The fibrocystic lumps feel similar to the lumps that appear in breast cancer but they are benign. Women who notice any lumps or abnormalities in the breasts should go to a doctor for a physical examination. The lumps are usually examined with a mammogram or an ultrasound or both. Other tests can be performed to rule out breast cancer.
Treatment for fibrocystic disease is individual directed and is intended to correct the hormonal abnormalities and to relief the symptoms. Patients may use anti-inflammatory medication or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the breast pain and ease the symptoms. More simple measures can provide a relief of the symptoms such as wearing a well-fitting bra. Vitamins are often prescribed to ease the symptoms of the condition. Commonly, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin B6 are used with this aim but they prove inefficient in most cases.
Statistics show that women who have irregular menstrual cycles are more prone to suffer from the fibrocystic disease. The main reason is thought to be the irregular hormonal stimulation that the breasts get and therefore a hormonal therapy is usually recommended in these cases. Correcting the hormonal imbalances may be a first step in treating the fibrocystic breasts. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid dysfunction play a great role in aggravating the symptoms of fibrocystic disease and they must be first diagnosed and treated as underlying conditions.
Although it is one of the non cancerous breast conditions, fibrocystic breast disease makes it more difficult to diagnose breast cancer due to the lumpiness of the breasts and this counts as the main complication of the ailment.