With all the focus on cancers, especially breast cancer, in today’s media, many women with lumpy breasts find themselves running to their health care provider to be screened for the dreaded C-word. But many women have lumpy breasts that are benign: these are called fibrocystic breasts.
With more that half of women experiencing changes in their breasts to a nodular or rope-like texture at some point in their life, it’s important to know that unless the breast changes are associated with abnormal growth of breast cells, having fibrocystic breasts doesn’t increase one’s risk for getting cancer.
The exact cause of fibrocystic breasts is unknown, many experts believe it’s a hormonal issue, or that it’s related to lifestyle–for example, if your diet is high in caffeine or deficient in iodine–and it can strike a woman anywhere between the ages of 20 and 50.
Because a woman’s hormones are in a constant ebb and flow during her menstrual cycle, many symptoms associated with fibrocystic breasts tend to occur just before menstruation.
Signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breasts may include:
lumps or a tissue thickening that blends into the surrounding tissue;
monthly increase in pain or lumpiness from mid-cycle to just before menstruation;
fluctuating size of lumps;
changes that occur in both breasts, rather than just one; or
nipples that leak a green or dark brown non-bloody discharge without pressure or squeezing.
Even though breast fibroids don’t equate to breast cancer, it’s still important to get any new changes examined, especially if you detect a new lump or thickening that sticks around after your period has finished.
If you have any of the above symptoms, or are curious about your breast health, contact Sage Clinic today and book a consult with one of our licensed naturopathic doctors, who will do a complete medical exam that will yield the correct path for eliminating the often uncomfortable side effects of fibrocystic breasts in as little as one month.