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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.
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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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