How to Treat Fibrocystic Breast Disease


A lumpy mattress may make it difficult for you to sleep. Lumpy breasts may do the same if you are experi­encing pain from fibrocystic breast disease. Fibrocystic breast disease causes round lumps in your breast which move easily within your breast tissue. They are not can­cerous but are usually tender to the touch. These cysts often fill with fluid and may be either soft or firm. Discomfort may increase just before your menstrual period, as cysts enlarge due to changes in your hormone levels. In fact, some women find their breasts swell up so much that they have to wear a different size bra. Fortunately, the pain and swelling usually lessen when menstruation begins.

You can usually tell the difference between a fibrocys­tic lump and one that is cancerous. While a cyst moves within your breast tissue and may cause tenderness, a cancerous tumor doesn’t move easily and usually causes no pain. If you have a questionable lump, however, see a doctor immediately.

Fibrocystic Breast

If the pain from your cysts is severe, your doctor may prescribe medicine. He also could perform a needle aspi­ration to draw fluid out of the cyst. This decreases pres­sure on the surrounding breast tissue, giving you enough relief to perhaps sleep at night. That is, if you could just get a new mattress.

The long-range plan for fibrocystic breast disease

You may have longed for larger breasts when you were younger, but the pain and swelling of fibrocystic breast disease wasn’t quite what you had in mind. If you suffer from this distressing disorder, here are some tips to shrink those cysts and ease your pain.

  • Cut the caffeine. Cutting down on your coffee, cola, tea, and chocolate consumption may cut down on the lumps in your breast. The caffeine in these products can contribute to the development of fibrocystic breast disease.
  • Slash salt and saturated fat. High intakes of salt and saturated fat have also been associated with a higher risk of breast cysts.
  • Add some A. Vitamin A has been shown to reduce the size of breast cysts as well as the pain associ­ated with them in women with fibrocystic breast disease. One study found that 80 percent of the women tested who took vitamin A had a signifi­cant reduction in pain, and 40 percent reduced the size of their cysts by at least half. If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you should be getting plenty of vitamin A.
  • Try some E as well. Another vitamin that may be helpful in warding off fibrocystic breast disease is vitamin E. Vegetable oils like corn, safflower, and wheat germ oil are the richest sources of vitamin E.
  • Make sure your bra fits. A well-fitting bra that supports your breasts will help keep the tender­ness to a minimum.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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