Fibrocystic breasts are composed of tissue that feels lumpy or rope-like in texture. Doctors call this nodular or glandular breast tissue.

It's not at all uncommon to have fibrocystic breasts. More than half of women experience fibrocystic breast changes at some point in their lives. In fact, medical professionals have stopped using the term "fibrocystic breast disease" and now simply refer to "fibrocystic breasts" or "fibrocystic breast changes" because having fibrocystic breasts isn't really a disease.

Although breast changes categorized as fibrocystic breasts are normal, they can cause breast pain, tenderness and lumpiness — especially in the upper, outer area of your breasts. Breast symptoms tend to be most bothersome just before menstruation. Simple self-care measures can usually relieve discomfort associated with fibrocystic breasts.

It's important to have your breasts evaluated if you have specific areas where pain continues to occur or worsens, or if you have new areas of lumps or thickening that persist after your period. Your doctor will examine you to see if the new changes are concerning and to eliminate other causes.

Mar. 08, 2013