Signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breasts may include:
- Breast lumps or areas of thickening that tend to blend into the surrounding breast tissue
- Generalized breast pain or tenderness
- Fluctuating size of breast lumps
- Green or dark brown nonbloody nipple discharge that tends to leak without pressure or squeezing
- Changes that occur in both breasts, rather than just one
- Monthly increase in breast pain or lumpiness from midcycle (ovulation) to just before your period
Fibrocystic breast changes occur most often in women in their 20s to 50s. Rarely do postmenopausal women experience fibrocystic breast changes, unless they're on hormone therapy.
When to see a doctor
Most fibrocystic breast changes are normal. However, if you find a new breast lump or area of thickening that persists after your period, or if a previously evaluated breast lump seems to have grown or otherwise changed, make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out.
March 08, 2013
- Non-cancerous breast conditions. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/womenshealth/non-cancerousbreastconditions/non-cancerous-breast-conditions-fibrocystic-changes. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2010. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=8538. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ026. Benign breast problems and conditions. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq026.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130214T1505295029. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Golshan M, et al. Breast pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Pruthi S, et al. Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: A randomized pilot study. Alternative Medicine Review. 2010;15:59.
- Understanding breast changes: A health guide for women. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/screening/understanding-breast-changes. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Ferrara A. Benign breast disease. Radiologic Technology. 2011;82:447M.
- Sabel MS. Breast masses and other common breast problems. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Evening Primrose oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 19, 2013.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Rochester, Minn. Feb. 25, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.