More than 60% of the women experience fibrocystic breast symptoms. Fibrocystic breast condition leads to lumpy breasts and affects the glandular breast tissue. It is a condition that mostly affects women between the age group of 30 and 50. After menopause fibrocystic breast symptoms tend to go away.
There are two important reasons why we should learn about fibrocystic breast symptoms. First, it is a condition that affects more than 60% of the women and learning about it will help us take better care of ourselves. Second, its symptoms match closely with cancer; therefore, learning about this condition and its symptoms will help us stay alert and seek medical help on time.
Little Bit About Fibrocystic Breast Condition
It is important to understand that it is a condition and not a disease. It was earlier considered as a disease, but with medical advancement it became clear that it is a condition. Fibrocystic breast condition is also known as benign breast disease, chronic cystic mastitis, diffuse cystic mastopathy, and mammary dysplasia.
Understanding the causes will help us understand the symptoms better. A woman’s body goes through hormonal changes during the monthly cycle. These hormonal changes prepare the woman’s body for a possible pregnancy. These hormonal changes are mostly directed by progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones direct the breast cells to grow and multiply in order to bring changes in the breast tissue.
Various hormonal changes in the body and the breast prepare the breasts for milk production. At the end of the monthly cycle when there is no pregnancy, the new breast cells undergo a process called apoptosis (programmed death). During this process the new breast cells are broken down and killed. As the cells are broken down they lead to inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) and this is what leads to fibrocystic breast condition.
Symptoms Of Fibrocystic Breast Condition
There are several symptoms associated with fibrocystic breast condition. However, not every woman will experience these symptoms. Some women do not experience any symptoms, while others will experience wide range of symptoms. In some women the symptoms come and go, while in others the symptoms will persist for some time.
Another point to note about symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition is that they are similar to symptoms associated with cancer. In fact, some of the fibrocystic breast symptoms make it very hard to detect breast cancer. For example, fibrocystic breast condition is often characterized by multiple lumps and it becomes very hard to detect the malignant lump from all the lumps.
Therefore, it is not only important to understand the symptoms associated with fibrocystic breast but also how they are different from cancer symptoms.
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The pain in fibrocystic breast condition is oftendescribed as dull, aching pain. Many women liken the pain with the feeling of soreness or heaviness. In most women the feeling of pain and tenderness in the breasts begins right before the menstrual cycle begins and often ends when the periods get over.
Differentiating It From Cancer Symptom
Pain is also associated with both breast cancer and fibrocystic breast condition. However, in fibrocystic breast condition the pain usually starts two weeks before the beginning of menstrual cycle and subsides after the menstrual cycle is over.
If the pain in your breasts does not coincide with your menstrual cycle and lasts for more than two weeks, it is best to consult a doctor right away. Pain that lasts for more than two weeks and is accompanied by fever is often associated with cancer and should never be ignored.
Swelling is another common symptom associated with fibrocystic breast condition. The breasts feel heavy and full. The swelling usually subsides after the menstrual cycle is over.
We all know that swelling in the breast is a common symptom of breast cancer also. However, in breast cancer the swelling will not subside after the periods are over.
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You might notice a single lump or several lumps in your breasts in fibrocystic breast condition. Some women notice that the lump becomes larger right before their menstrual cycle and then shrinks after the menstrual cycle is over.
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Distinguishing Between Malignant Lumps And Fibrocystic Breast Lumps
Presence of a lump is a symptom that is commonly associated with cancer and fibrocystic breast condition. However, there is difference between a malignant lump and non-malignant lump (fibrocystic breast condition). Lumps associated with fibrocystic breast condition are usually round and have smooth borders. Moreover, they are mobile. In other words, they are not attached to an underlying or overlying tissue in the breast. Another common feature of a fibrocystic breast lump is that it changes in shape as the menstruation cycle progresses.
A malignant lump will gradually increase in size and does not shrink as the menstrual cycle comes to an end. Moreover, malignant lump feels hard. Lumps associated with fibrocystic breast condition have often been described as rubbery by many women.
Presence of a lump always means that it is time for a checkup. Whether it is a single lump or multiple lumps, they should never be ignored. A complete checkup of the breasts will rule out the presence of cancer.
Source : http://webhealth.com/womens-health/breast-problems/
Dark brown or green colored discharge from the nipples is another fibrocystic breast symptom. In fibrocystic breast condition discharge from the nipple is not bloody and does not contain pus. If you notice that the discharge from your nipple is bloody and/or contains pus, it might indicate the presence of cancer.
Go For Complete Checkup
Though fibrocystic breast condition is non-malignant, it can never be stressed enough that you should go for a complete checkup to rule out cancer. It is also true that fibrocystic breast symptoms gradually go away after menopause; however, every woman should have yearly mammograms and ultrasound examinations of breasts and the whole body. This is especially important for women who are forty plus and for those who have a family history of breast cancer or other type of cancer.
In fact, according to American Cancer Society women should start self-examination in their early twenties. However, before you do self-examination make sure that you learn how to do it properly.
Now that you have learned about fibrocystic breast symptoms you will understand how important it is never to ignore them.
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