The glands in the breasts change throughout the monthly cycle. They get bigger to get ready for a pregnancy. They shrink if one does not happen. This cycling causes cysts and fibrous tissue to build up. All women will have some form of this condition during their reproductive years. Most women will not seek medical care.
No treatment is needed unless you have pain.
Fibrocystic disease may be safely treated with:
- Over the counter pain relievers
- Hormone medicines for severe cases
- Warm packs
- Wearing a supportive bra
- Dietary changes, such as not drinking caffeine products.
Treatment may also include:
- Needle aspiration—If the fluid is removed, the cyst usually goes away.
- Biopsy (removal) of the suspicious area
After numbing the area, a small needle is inserted into the cyst. This is to draw fluid out.
There are two types:
- A fine needle biopsy is like an aspiration. The only difference is that a tiny piece of tissue is also drawn out of the lump.
- An excisional biopsy removes the entire lump through an incision. This can be done with local anesthesia if the lump is small.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Benign Breast Masses; Breast Cysts; Cystic Disease; Chronic Cystic Mastitis; Mammary Dysplasia)
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services http://www.womenshealth.gov
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation http://www.cbcf.org
Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca
Miltenburg DM, Speights VO Jr. Benign breast disease. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2008;35(2):285-300.
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