What is it
Fibrosis is a kind of benign breast condition, but that does not mean it is necessarily cancer.
Most breast swellings are because of the fibrocystic breast changes. The growth could be as a result of a collection of fibrous tissue in some regions of the breast. The fibrous tissue is similar to the tissue that the scars and the ligaments tissue are constituted of.
The growths could also be as a result of one or more accumulation of fluid in some region of the breast. These are referred to as cysts.
In other cases, women have parts of cysts and fibrosis in one breast.
So Who Gets This Disease?
At some point in most women’s lives, they will experience fibrocystic breast changes in the breast. These kinds of diseases are most common in women that are in their childbearing age, though these could affect women of any other age as well. The lump can happen in both breasts at the same time and in different parts of the breast.
Cysts will mostly happen in women who are in their 40s.
You might feel a lump in your breasts. Other women might have a slightly cloudy or clear discharge from their nipple.
You may experience the following symptoms if you have fibrocystic breast disease:
- Thickening of tissue
- Swellings in either of the breasts
It is possible that you may feel one or more lumps or swelling in one of the breasts than you may feel it in the other. The symptoms will even be worse just before you get your periods because of the hormonal imbalances, but you may still get the symptoms for the entire cycle.
The swellings in fibrocystic breast change are commonly movable and tend to vary in size for the entire month. But at times, especially if there is too much fibrous tissue, the swellings tend to be more fixed in just one area.
You can also feel a bit of pain underneath your arms. Other women produce a dark brown or green fluid from the nipples.
If you see a red, bloody or clear discharge coming out of the nipple, see a doctor as soon as possible, because it could be an indication of breast cancer.
Cysts are in most cases oval or round, movable swellings that can be soft when you touch that area. The cysts may become more painful and also get bigger and more profound just before you get your periods.
Cysts begin as fluid builds up in the breast glands. They begin as very tiny, microscopic cysts also referred to as microcysts which are very tiny to notice. Microcysts can only be seen when the breast tissue is put under a microscope. The larger cysts are known as macrocysts. They are quite easy to notice and feel, which could be 1- to 2-inches wide. As the cysts swell the breast tissue around they can stretch and be painful or tender sometimes.
Areas that are affected by fibrosis tend to feel hard, firm, or rubbery when you touch them.
Often, the fibrocystic breast changes are diagnosed relative to the symptoms, like breast swelling, lumps, and/or pain or tenderness. The symptoms tend to get worse when you are about to have your menstrual period, & also changes during the various stages of the cycle. You might feel lumpy in your breasts, and in other instances, you may notice a bit cloudy or clear nipple fluid.
At times, one of the swellings may seem to be firmer or have different features that lead to a concern of cancer. When it happens, an ultrasound can be conducted to establish if the swelling is solid or it is just full of a fluid (which is known as a simple cyst). This is not a cause of concern at all. Though if the ultrasound shows that the swelling is solid or if the cyst has both the solid and fluid substances (Which could be complex cyst), then a biopsy is required to ascertain if it is cancer or not.
How does this disease affect the risk of breast cancer?
Neither simple cysts nor fibrosis increases the risk of developing breast cancer later on in life. Complex cysts should give you more concern and cause alarm because chances are slim that you will be at risk of cancer later on in life or that you may have cancer at some point, and it depends on what is diagnosed when the biopsy was done.
You don’t need to remove the Cyst fluid unless it makes you feel discomfort. Though the fluid can be removed by placing a hollow needle in the swollen cyst, it is also to confirm the diagnosis. draining the fluid can minimize the pain and pressure temporarily. After removing it, the fluid may return after some time, but it may go away for a very long time also. For one which continues to return & cause symptoms, going got a surgery to do away with it might be an alternative.
Many women with fibrocystic breast changes and don’t have bothersome symptoms do not require treatment, but they can be monitored closely. You may be relieved by well-fitted, supportive bras, applying heat or use over-the-counter pain relievers if you get a bit uncomfortable.
Other women claim that the symptoms of their breast improved if they did not take caffeine & other stimulants found in chocolate, tea, coffee, and most other soft drinks. Research shows a clear link between the stimulants and these breast symptoms, though most women feel like if they avoid those drinks and foods for several months could greatly help.
Since the breast lump swells when the menstrual cycle is coming to an end, it might be worse for some women, other doctors suggest over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or other drugs. It has also been recommended that other kinds of herbal or vitamin supplements may reduce those symptoms, but so far, none of these solutions are useful, & others if taken in large doses come with side effects. Other doctors give prescription hormones, like tamoxifen, androgens or oral contraceptives. though they are usually given to women only with bad symptoms since they can have bad side effects as well.