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. Breast changes categorized as fibrocystic are considered normal.
Although many women with fibrocystic breasts don't have symptoms, some women experience breast pain, tenderness and lumpiness — especially in the upper, outer area of the breasts. Breast symptoms tend to be most bothersome just before menstruation. Simple self-care measures can usually relieve discomfort associated with fibrocystic breasts.
Fibrocystic breasts care at Mayo Clinic
Aug. 23, 2017
- Fibrocystic breast disease. First consult. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Breast pain. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Non-cancerous breast conditions. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/womenshealth/non-cancerousbreastconditions/non-cancerous-breast-conditions-fibrocystic-changes. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Mastalgia (breast pain). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/breast-disorders/mastalgia-breast-pain. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Sabel MS. Overview of benign breast disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Sabel MS. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of a palpable breast mass. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Understanding breast changes: A health guide for women. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/understanding-breast-changes. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Jacobs LJ. Management of benign breast disease. In: Current Surgical Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Golshan M, et al. Breast pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Balleyguiera C, et al. Breast pain and imaging. Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging. 2015;96:1009.
- Rikers A. Breast Disease: Comprehensive Management. 2015;96:1009.
- Vitamin E fact sheet for consumers. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/. Accessed Jan. 26, 2016.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 8, 2016.