Fibrocystic breast is breast tissue that is rope-like in texture and feels lumpy. Doctors describe this as glandular or nodular breast tissue.

Usually, it is common for women to have fibrocystic breast condition—almost more than half of women at some point may experience fibrocystic breast changes. Professionals in the medical field have already stopped using the term “fibrocystic breast disease.” Instead, they are referred to as “fibrocystic breast changes” or “fibrocystic breasts” for the reason that “fibrocystic breasts” is not a disease. Breast changes classified as fibrocystic nowadays are deemed natural.

Even though most of the women with fibrocystic breast conditions don’t feel any symptoms, some women experience tenderness, lumpiness, and breast pain. Most are being reported on the upper, outer area of their breasts. Some women just before menstruation may have fibrocystic breast symptoms that tend to be the most bothersome. Women usually relieve discomfort linked with fibrocystic breasts with natural self-care means.


Fibrocystic breasts’ signs and symptoms may include:

  • Thickening of areas or breast lumps that is likely to merge with the surrounding breast tissue.
  • Generalized breast tenderness or pain.
  • During the menstrual cycle, the size of breast lumps fluctuates.
  • Even without squeezing or with pressure, the nipples may discharge non-bloody dark-brown or green fluid.
  • Both breast have similar breast changes.
  • Breast pain or lumpiness increase monthly from ovulation (mid-cycle) to just before your period.

Most women in their 20s to 50s are susceptible to fibrocystic breast changes. Women at the postmenopausal stage may experience fibrocystic breast changes, except for women undergoing hormone therapy.


Evaluation to assess your condition may include:

  • Clinical breast exam – Your doctor will examine your breast visually and manually to investigate for abnormal areas and will also check your lower neck and underarm lymph nodes. You might not be required to test further if your medical and clinical breast exam history showed natural breast changes. You may be required to come back again after a few weeks if your doctor discovers a new lump and suspects it for fibrocystic changes. If the changes persist after your menstrual period, you will be tested with an ultrasound or a mammogram.
  • Mammogram– if your doctor detects a prominent thickening in your breast tissue or a breast lump, you may need a diagnostic mammogram. In this exam, the x-ray will be focused in your breast suspected with a lump or cyst. Then, the radiologist will carefully examine and interpret the results of your mammogram.
  • Ultrasound– an ultrasound is often performed along with a mammogram. In this exam, ultrasound waves will be used to depict the images of your breast. Women under 30 usually tested with ultrasound rather than mammograms as the ultrasound is better in evaluating younger women because of their dense breast tissue.



There is no need for fibrocystic breast treatment if you don’t experience symptoms. However, you may need surgery if you suffer from a large painful cyst or severe pain associated with fibrocystic breasts

Treatment options for breast cysts include:

Fine-needle aspiration. Your doctor drains the fluid from the cyst using a delicate, hair-thin needle. This treatment will confirm if the lump is a breast cyst and will cause the cyst to collapse, relieving you from associated discomfort.

If after careful monitoring and repeated aspiration, the lump still persists, surgical excision may be needed.

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