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Fibrocystic Breasts - Exams and Tests

Most women who see a doctor for breast pain and lumpiness learn that they have fibrocystic, or cyclic, breast changes. Because this is a common condition that has nothing to do with cancer, this is good news. But if you have a new lump that does not go away after a menstrual period, it might not be cyclic. If you are not sure whether your symptoms are cyclic and harmless, see your doctor for a clinical breast exam.

Because fibrocystic breast pain and lumps are a noncancerous condition, most women who have it do not require additional exams or tests. If your doctor needs more information to make a firm diagnosis or if you need reassurance, your doctor may recommend:

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  • A mammogram.
  • A breast ultrasound.

In some cases, your doctor may also recommend:

  • A urine or blood pregnancy test if there is a chance that you may be pregnant. Breast tenderness and a missed period are signs of possible pregnancy.
  • A breast needle biopsy, which involves using a hollow needle to withdraw a small amount of tissue for testing.
  • An MRI, which uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide computerized pictures of the breast. An MRI can show trauma, infection, inflammation, or tumors.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 28, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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