Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition where lumps form in the breast due to hormonal changes related to menstruation. These lumps are often palpable in both breasts and may lack distinct borders. The skin covering the breast might show a dimpled or wrinkled appearance. While these lumps are typically soft and movable, they can sometimes cause pain or discomfort, which can be more pronounced before the onset of a menstrual period.

Symptoms of Fibrocystic Breast Disease

  • Swelling in the breasts.
  • Pain in the breasts.
  • Presence of lumps in one or both breasts without clear boundaries.
  • Symptoms that intensify before menstruation.

How is it Diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves a comprehensive review where the doctor takes into account the patient’s age, medical history, medication intake, and menstrual cycle. Following a physical examination, imaging tests such as a mammogram or ultrasound might be recommended. In certain cases, a biopsy may be conducted where fluid or tissue samples are extracted from the breasts for laboratory testing. The specific tests advised would depend on the doctor’s evaluation of the individual patient's needs.

Treatment Options

The primary approach to treating palpable lumps is their removal for detailed examination. If the diagnosis confirms fibrocystic breast disease and the lumps are numerous and small, the focus might shift to symptom management rather than surgical intervention. However, regular check-ups are essential to monitor any lump changes. In cases where the lumps are fluid-filled cysts, draining them might be the recommended procedure.

Preventive Measures

Currently, there's no definitive method to prevent these breast lumps. Hence, regular self-examination is crucial. While bathing, use soapy fingers to check the breasts, feeling for any abnormalities.

If any changes are observed, especially for women over 40, consult a doctor immediately. Mammograms and ultrasounds are advised from age 50 for routine screening, or age 40 for those with a family history of breast cancer. The frequency of these screenings will depend on individual risk factors.