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Fibrocystic Breasts - Topic Overview

To diagnose fibrocystic breast changes, your doctor will do a breast exam and ask when you had your last period. If your doctor needs more information, you may have other tests, such as a mammogram.

How are they treated?

Fibrocystic breast changes are normal. You do not need to do anything about them. If breast pain bothers you:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil). If this does not help, ask your doctor about using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) skin cream.1
  • Wear a bra that gives your breasts good support.

Ask your doctor about low-dose birth control pills. For some women, they help reduce breast soreness and swelling before periods. They may be a good choice if your symptoms bother you and you want to prevent pregnancy.

There are stronger medicines your doctor can prescribe for breast pain, but they also have more side effects.

Some women may feel better when they give up caffeine, eat a very low-fat diet, or take the herb vitex. Before trying these remedies, talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about fibrocystic breast changes:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

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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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