Patient Comments: Fibrocystic Breast Condition - Experience

Question:

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your fibrocystic breast condition? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Island, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

A friend of mine has been taking iodine supplement liquid orally for a year or so now and her lumps have gone away. I have been having fibrocystic breast condition for years and pain off and on, just started taking a pill for the last few months 4 pills a day, but you have to build up to that because it can cause a cleansing that can make you feel really sick. Research it on line, there is a lot of information.

Comment from: Tif, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

I am taking charge of my fibrocystic breast condition (FBC)! Cutting back on caffeine, losing weight, doing yoga, eating organic, using natural deodorant, and wearing body shaper tank tops while I sleep are my FBC treatment and in the last 3 months my tenderness has decreased, my breast swelling has decreased, and from my last ultra sound my cysts have shrunk! I have more health changes to make but taking small steps. The post below about parabens in products has me intrigued, another unnecessary ingredient I’ll need to research.

Comment from: christinestaib, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

Progesterone cream (which you can buy over the counter) resolved my fibrocystic breast condition. According to my doctor fibrocystic breasts are caused by estrogen dominance. The progesterone is needed to balance out the estrogen. It took about four months of me using the cream to be free of the breast pain.

Comment from: Miranda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

A Mirena IUD (intrauterine device) and spironolactone cured my agony from fibrocystic breast condition. The IUD hurt terribly for quite a few weeks, but I persisted. I've had 4 years of pain-free bliss.

Comment from: k80dryden, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast condition when I was a college student, at the age of 24. I was told by the physician, to eat a healthier diet, a low fat diet that included a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, and to avoid caffeine. I have found that avoiding fatty foods along with moderate exercise and consequently losing 10 to 15 pounds has relieved my breast swelling and pain. When the pain is gone all of the fears of getting breast cancer go away with it! However, all of my fears are not gone because I have never had a mammogram. At the age of 27, after graduating college and finally being able to afford medical insurance, I was told that I was too young to get a mammogram and to wait until I was 40 years old. I was also told that worrying about getting cancer was causing undue stress and that I had no more chance of getting breast cancer than any other healthy young woman. I weighed 169lbs when I was diagnosed. I am now 39 years old, 5'8" tall, and weigh about 145 to 155 lbs. Every time that I have gained weight the breast pain and swelling has returned. Now, I am no longer employed and have no health insurance and have never had a mammogram, a biopsy, or breast exam, other than a self-exam. The thing that worries me is that two of my aunts were diagnosed and survived breast cancer and my paternal grandmother had to have her left breast removed and that is the exact breast that hurts me the most. The good news is: she beat her breast cancer and died of old age at 91 years old!

Comment from: Rodelyn, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I am 30 years old and I have fibroadenoma. I felt this September last year, 2020. It is very painful if I'm tired in my work. I went to the doctor and she found an oval-shaped hypoechoic soft tissue but this is very painful. I don't have any medicine to take for my fibrocystic breast condition except naproxen. The size of this palpable lump in my left breast is 2.5x1.2x3.2 cm, but not showing.

Comment from: Empressofq, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

No treatment has been effective for my fibrocystic breast condition, but I am wondering if this condition makes tests, like an echocardiogram, hurt really bad. I also have fibromyalgia, so it could be that which makes it so bad. My breasts have always been tender but this test is excruciating!

Comment from: LETTY, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I was told I have fibrocystic breast today! I feel very sore that this surgeon I saw was so short with me, did an exam by feeling under my breast and said he felt no lumps; I have two lumps that can very well be felt and also are visible on my mammogram and ultrasound. That is the reason I was even referred to this surgeon to set up a biopsy. He said that I had this condition but did not even do a test to be certain. I am definitely getting a second opinion. I hurt so badly, it is so tender and painful. I am scared.

Comment from: Ariba, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I am fibrocystic in my both breasts. I got operated for that cyst, but after 4 months they again tell me I have cyst.

IMAGES

Fibrocystic Breast Condition (Changes) See a medical illustration of breast anatomy along with our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology See Images
Comment from: diane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I am 47 years old and have had fibrocystic breast for many years and I can’t even tell people how painful its gets. My breasts are always hurting. Sometimes I feel like a big baby when I tell the doctor about the pain, and they don’t believe you. I have fluid filled cysts that pop out like a 3rd breast; I am always getting them drained. I had one drained so many times. The doctor removed it whole and removed the roots. I will never have that done ever again. I want to have my breasts removed so badly, but if you can still get them on the chest wall what good is that! But maybe they are less painful.

Comment from: Suzanne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 19

At 30 I found a lump in my left breast while doing my monthly personal exam. I went to the doctor and while she was convinced it would be fine, she sent me to have a sonogram. The radiologist took one look at the images and ordered a biopsy. Three nervous weeks later, I was diagnosed with 2 small cysts and told not to worry about it. This past summer came the pain; it hurt to put on a bra. I went back to the doctors, and now they want to remove the cysts. I'm not so sure how I feel about it. After all my 94 year old maternal grandmother has been living with this since she was in her 40s.

Comment from: Liz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 24

Ladies, check the ingredients of all your moisturizing products for parabens, such as methylparaben. These are "estrogen mimickers" that provoke fibrocystic breast condition. Eliminating these from my life has almost eliminated my condition, which is otherwise very severe. When my condition flares up, it always is because I have changed face or body moisturizers and the ingredients were not fully disclosed on the bottle (although they will be listed on the box or on the company’s website). After researching, I will find they contain parabens. Look for very long words whose second half is "-paraben." It's not easy. Practically every lotion has this ingredient. The Aveeno oatmeal lotion does not have it. For my face cream, I currently am making my own from pure shea butter, avocado oil, etc. because I cannot afford the expensive products that don't have parabens. Eliminating parabens from my regimen is what has enabled me to live without fibrocystic breasts!

Comment from: Melissa, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

You guys have been a big help. I am 26 now, but my breast started feeling heavy around 19, but I didn't think anything of it because it came before my monthly cycle and would leave about a week later. Finally around 21 it started being really consistent and my breast were always hard in a certain area finally I went to my doctor. Who sent me to a lab because I have small breast and could not get a regular mammogram. That's when the tech told me it was fibrocystic and I was ok. No one told me what it was or what it derives from. I am a heavy coffee drinker and have been drinking coffee since I was 9. I drink about 5 cups a day. No soda etc. just coffee. Now that I know it's probably the cause, I will try and cut back. It will be really hard but it's nice to hear from women who understand.

Comment from: Mandy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I had a huge cyst in one breast at 15 years old and since then, it very quickly progressed to fibrocystic disease in both breasts. I am now 48 years old and have had many years of indescribable pain. I have tried cutting out caffeine but there was no change at all. Evening primrose oil does help slightly. I have cysts on a regular basis and have been to the hospital many times with leakage and suspect lumps. What worries me most is that if I did have a cancerous lump, I would never find it! It is such a painful condition and I feel that many people do not realize how much agony we are in. Here's hoping that someone someday will come up with a cure.

Comment from: Candice, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breasts about a month ago. At first I was scared but then I had a breast exam. I am 18 and it is a problem that I've since I've had breasts, so it is often annoying. The doctor put me on an oral contraceptive and I have completely stopped the caffeine. The one thing I wish is that there was a pill that can just take it away, but reality doesn't work that way. I am often scared and I don't want a biopsy but all I can do is pray for the best and thank Him for not having breast cancer. The pain is somewhat in the middle category. I do have irregular periods, but I am so frustrated with it as it gets in the way of things in my life. The one thing I can say to you all is don't panic. Like the facts say, over 60% of us have this stupid condition so you are not alone!

Comment from: 1111healer, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 09

I was diagnosed was fibrocystic breast disease 15 years ago when I was 28. I had no idea what was wrong and because of my age - my MD REFUSED to give me a mammogram. I had to wait a month in agony until the mobile unit came to my city and I was able to get a mammography offered. What they found was not cancer (as I feared) but a self-inflicted fibrocystic condition. What a relief! I realized that I was drinking a lot of coffee and other caffeinated stuff (my job was production based - the faster we worked - the more we got paid!) I stopped all caffeine - and the problem went away. Every now and then - I slack on my restriction - and yes, the pain comes back again. So, for me no caffeine. No problem. If it is that simple for me to be out of pain, I'll gladly do it. To continue with the caffeine could lead to changes in the tissue from a cellular aspect and may result in breast cancer due to the mutations. No thanks, there are other ways (healthy ones) to "get energy.” I find that macrobiotic eating, high O2 foods and drinks and exercise really help.

SLIDESHOW

Breast Cancer Awareness: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment See Slideshow
Comment from: selfconscious, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I made the mistake of surgery, twice in the same area. The first one showed very little change in appearance of my breast, but the second one left me indented and a half size smaller. My other breast had a large cyst removed from underneath the nipple - so it is prolapsed. Wish I could find someone to help fix their appearance. No plastic surgery to fix it - insurance said it was cosmetic. They definitely do not understand women. I have another one - large, no pain (in the same general area of the two previous surgeries). I just discovered, but no more surgery. It does not hurt and I am going to leave it alone. I have very irregular muscle tissue in both breasts and it can be very frustrating. Mammogram and ultrasound every year due to the deformity of my one breast.

Published: July 24

I have just turned 50 and have been referred for a mammogram by my GP due to experiencing pain in my left breast. Occasionally more recently I am experiencing a sharp shooting pain in the area that is painful - just below the nipple and very painful to touch. Both my breasts would generally be quite tender and coming up to my menstrual cycle the pain becomes increasingly worse. There is no visual change in either of my breasts and on my GP's examination she has said she doesn't feel any lumps but has advised me to check things out. She has mentioned I may have a condition known as costochondritis. On reading your article and symptoms on fibrocystic breast condition it seems a more likely diagnosis.

Published: July 09

I am 37 with four children. I had a benign tumor removed from my left breast about six years ago. Lately, I have been experiencing such deep pain that I have to literally hold my breast to keep from crying in public. I can’t sleep well and also have to "guard" from much needed and appreciated hugs. The pain can be unbearable. Unfortunately, people don’t think much of it if it is not serious as is cancer. I am grateful not to have cancer but wish people would learn more about this disease. I find that even the movement of my arm brushing against my breast will almost bring me to tears.

Published: June 27

I have had this condition since I was 16 years old and I am now 58. I have had more biopsies than I can count. Due to the inflammation of the cysts I had a third of my left breast with its nipple removed and I am still having surgery on my right breast, mostly biopsies. I asked my surgeon if he could remove my breasts but he said that even if he did that I would still have the disease since it goes deep into the surrounding tissue, into the chest and under the arms. I have learned to live with constant pain, having tried every possible type of relief. I cannot hug anyone, I have to be heavily sedated to have a mammogram, even the water from a shower hitting my breasts is extremely painful, but I can only have showers since my surgeon has left part of my one nipple open so that it can drain. The only time I had relief was when I was pregnant. I wanted to breast feed and was watched closely by all my doctors and was successful breast feeding with one nipple for eight months until my breast tissue changed and it became too painful. One gets used to pain after awhile so I have few complaints, other than I wish I could give my loved ones big hugs. I dare not complain having lost several close friends to breast cancer.

Comment from: Jess, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast condition when I was about 26. When I got pregnant a few years later, I had problems with blood in my breast milk, assumably from the cysts. While it cleared up after a while, it was still really weird.

Comment from: Louise, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I have had fibrocystic breast condition (FBC) since adolescence. I was diagnosed at 30. I would just like to share I was also told that yeast products such as white bread and beer also affects the breasts. Also was told to avoid reaching up as to wash walls or any repetitive reaching. Yes, the caffeine/chocolate cut off took me from 44DD to 38D while breast feeding down to 36B. Hope this input may be beneficial to some.

Comment from: dulce d., 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

I am 22 years old and I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast condition (FBC) a week ago. It is very painful and I have lumps in both my breasts. I currently breastfeed my two year old baby, I hope it will not harm him. I am getting an ultrasound on Tuesday, which I am very scared about!

Comment from: JeniM, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I have been suffering from fibrocystic breast condition for almost 10 years. I will be 34 in 4 months! It"s worse now than it has ever been. Until this year, I"ve never had medical insurance. I"ve been to the emergency room plenty of times. Sonograms galore! Just for them to tell me it"s fibrocystic, pain pills, go home. However, now I have so much pain a brisk walk puts me in tears and the doctors are suggesting a bilateral subcutaneous mastectomy. I"m reluctant but not ruling it out!

Comment from: lucky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

When I was first diagnosed with fibrocystic breasts at age 54, my doctor recommended evening primrose oil and vitamin E twice a day with meals. This helped break up the denseness of my breasts and alleviated my pain.

Comment from: , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

Having several nodules in both breasts, I have found that non-caffeine has completely eliminated any breast pain that I had experienced. A reduction in fatty foods is also a factor in my nodules remaining the same size over the course of time. I have experienced the nodules from the age of 23, and after breast feeding three children, the nodules became larger in one breast, and I developed a larger nodule in the other breast. When abstaining from caffeine, I rarely experience any breast discomfort, but when I do, it only lasts for an hour or so.

Comment from: megan, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

I am 20 years old i have had fibrocystic breast condition for two years now and it scares me to death! I am so young and I'm so scared I might get cancer. My doctor keeps putting me on the same meds and he wont do anything else. So I'm trying to find a new doctor. I had one mamagram when I first new I had it(18).Its scary going through this alone. I'm in so much pain all the time I stopped smoking and drinking caffeine and they seem to have not got any better at all!

Comment from: Kate, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

I was recently diagnosed with fibrocystic breast condition by my gynecologist. She explained the situation to me. Occasionally I have a sharp jolting pain in the upper tissue of my right breast (only the right breast). Sometimes it pulsates and goes on and on for a long period of time and sometimes it is just a small pain for maybe 2 seconds.

Published: July 21

I am a big coffee hound, but find that if I consume caffeine the cysts become engorged and have had to have a breast aspiration. I choose to avoid caffeine than to forego the aspiration. I am a believer of oil of primrose rather than vitamin E. Primrose works great for me. I too miss the energy lift caffeine provides but find exercise and vitamin supplements give me a natural energy lift.

Published: July 11

I am only 32 years old, and I have two children. I found out about fibrocystic breast condition because my breasts would literally throb with pain and swell up so badly that I really didn’t know from day to day what my bra size was going to be. My breasts started to leak clear fluid and then it changed to breast milk. My doctor ran blood tests to check my PSH and TSH levels along with other hormone tests, and they returned normal. I found a lump in my left breast and I had it removed for a biopsy, which returned benign. I have to return for another mammogram in five months, but I am still suffering from this disease.

Published: July 01

I am 67 and have had fibrocystic breasts for many, many years. Whenever they get painful, I stop drinking regular coffee and I get dramatic relief in a couple of days. But since I like regular coffee and it keeps me energy level high when I need to get physical things done, I gradually start drinking it again. It really only takes a couple of cups of regular coffee per day to bring back the discomfort and then I go back to decaffeinating myself again.

Published: June 20

Evening primrose has helped tremendously for pain.

Comment from: mmjc89, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I am 19, almost 20, and have had this fibrocystic breast condition for more than a year! I have already had surgery, and there are more to come. I am also at a higher risk of breast cancer. I was surprised that I developed this at such a young age. I just wish that there was something more to do about it instead of surgery after surgery. But that is not possible for me. The pain is unbearable, and it is consistent. I never thought that I would ever have to deal with something like this at such a young age, and that I will have to live with it for the rest of my life on top of my other health problems: severe anxiety and anemia. Just one more thing to deal with I guess.

Comment from: totti, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I suffer very badly with the left breast pain and it is so bad that I faint with it. I my self cannot touch it or even let anyone come around me. Went to see my doctor and he said I have fibrocystic severe breast pain. Mine is the extreme case and that is why it is so painful. I can’t sleep, can’t move so I am sitting with the pain most of the time. I have been given Danazol last week so will try and see if this helps, but the pain is extreme.

Comment from: aryanna, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was told I have Fibrocystic Breast Condition about 3 years ago. I was 22 years old. Apparently this runs in my family. I would have such bad pains in my breast that it would stop me dead in my tracks. I didn't want to breathe because it made it worse. I went to the doctor and she told me it was FBC and to try and stop intake of caffeine, if that didn't work to come back. I haven't been back since. I cut all caffeine out that day and I haven't had the pain since. I do remember once I was given a regular coffee instead of decaf and within a couple hours I was in really bad pain again. I really do believe that caffeine causes a lot of pain with FBC.

Comment from: Nikki, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I experience severe pain and tingling in breast. Similar to breast filling with milk. They are larger than normal. I am using IUD for birth control and do not have normal/regular monthly periods. Is this something I should be alarmed about?

Comment from: MyBreastsareDense, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was diagnosed with FBC when I was 15. It was recommended that I give up caffeine at that time, but I waited 2 more years. At that time I had 7 benign cysts. I gave up caffeine at 17, and was checked ten years later and had no cysts. In the past year I have noticed that even decaffeinated coffee causes breast pain, so I have given that up, started taking evening primrose oil, vitamin E, and given up underwire bras. The combination has helped, and although I'm not sure which one has the most effect I no longer wince when I'm hugged. My chest is not as prominent, which has made me a bit insecure, but the reduction in pain is well worth it. I now have sonograms every 6 months and mammograms every years. I'm 33.

Comment from: misunderstood, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I’m 16 and I’ve had this condition for two years. I just found out how to ease the pain that I’ve been living with since I was 14. I don’t drink a lot of caffeine so the only thing I can do is drink absolutely no caffeine and take birth control, which gives the wrong impression bout me but I’d rather be talked about in school than deal with that horrible pain.

Comment from: lady love, 25-34 Female Published: September 09

I am now 33yrs old and have been suffering from Fibrocystic Breast Condition sine I was 24yrs old, the pain is really terrible. Vitamin E and Primrose oil really helps to relieve it.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I was diagnosed with this 8 years ago. As soon as I told the doctor it felt like my milk was coming in all over again he said this is what I had. Caffeine doesn't make all that much difference with me from what I have noticed. I usually only have really, really bad pain during colder weather where I can ache down to my wrist. It doesn't matter what time of the month it is during the winter, it's constant pain. I have found that B6, vitamin E and evening primrose oil supplements do really make a difference with the pain.