Fibrocystic breast disease or condition, also known as cystic mastitis, is a mildly uncomfortable to severely painful benign cystic swelling of the breasts. It is typically cyclic, and usually precedes a woman’s period. It is the most frequent disease of the breast. Having fibrocystic breasts is not a disease, so nowadays it is more commonly called fibrocystic breast condition. Most common age for women to get fibrocystic breast condition is 30-50. Fibrocystic breast condition is very common, affecting 20-40 percent of premenopausal women. It is usually a component of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and is considered a risk factor for breast cancer. It is not, however, as significant a factor as the classical breast cancer risk factors, i.e., family history, early menarche and late or no first pregnancy. Ovarian hormones seem to be involved in the development of fibrocystic breast condition, since new cysts do not usually appear after menopause. When cysts occur, they are usually found in both breasts. When the nodular cysts are relatively large and near the surface of the breast, they may be moved freely.
IS IT A DISEASE OR CONDITION?
Tender or lumpy breasts are one of the most common reasons why women consult their health practitioner for assessment, examination and treatment. Is fibrocystic breasts a “disease” or “condition”? Most knowledgeable health care providers today have abandoned the words disease and condition in favor of a more accurate physiologically based description. But the bottom line is that most women have painful breasts and up to 60% have cysts during some portion of their menstrual cycle. It is a reality for most of us. Unfortunately, our health care system requires a diagnostic code to reimburse services, and Fibrocystic Breast Disease has one, even though the medical literature is replete with reasons why it shouldn’t. This reinforces misinformation and fear and obscures the safe and simple means that exist for obtaining relief and reassurance.
Fibrocystic tissue (causing your breast pain) is not really a disease; it is a condition shared by many healthy women. Through this website, I hope to help you focus your energy and efforts toward naturally and safely relieving the sometimes debilitating symptoms. In this way you will optimize your breast health--and the health of your entire body.
FIBROCYSTIC BREAST CONDITION SYMPTOMS
With Fibrocystic Breast Condition round lumps that move freely and are either firm or soft are produced. Symptoms include tender nodular cysts, pain, and premenstrual breast discomfort. However, the condition can often be asymptomatic (without symptoms), only discovered when pressure is accidentally placed on the cysts. In this condition, the cysts become filled with fluid and fibrous tissue surrounds the cysts and thickens like a scar. The pressure causes pain. Fluid is reabsorbed by the breast tissue when a hormone imbalance or abnormal milk production occurs. The milk-producing glands multiply and carry milk into the supporting fibrous tissue, resulting in fibrocystic disease of the breast. As a woman ages, it becomes more difficult for the lymph system to absorb this fluid completely. Fluid is trapped and results in cysts and inflammation of the breast. These cysts are benign. Most women with fibrocysts do not have an increased risk for breast cancer. A cyst is tender and moves freely – it feels like an eyeball behind the lid. A cancerous growth usually does not move freely, is most often not tender, and does not go away. Symptoms characteristically affect both breasts, with multiple cysts of varying sizes giving each breast a nodular consistency. The size of the cysts typically fluctuate depending on hormonal changes in the body.
FIBROCYSTIC BREAST CONDITION CHANGES
The development of fibrocystic breast condition is apparently due to an increased estrogen-to-progesterone ratio. During each menstrual cycle there is a recurring hormonal stimulation of the breast. As the hormone levels fall after a few days the breasts normally return to their prestimulation size and function. In many women these changes are so slight that clinical signs or symptoms do not appear. In others, however, significant inflammatory processes occur. The cells of a fibrocystic breast are characterized by overgrowth and enlargement, increased secretory activity, dilation of the milk ducts and scarring. These effects may be due to increased levels of the hormone prolactin which is secreted by the pituitary gland. Estrogen, both internally produced and in birth control pills, causes an increase in prolactin secretion.
READY TO KICK FIBROCYSTIC BREAST PAIN TO THE CURB?
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