Complications – Fibrocystic Breast Changes

  • Symptoms:
  • Often, women with fibrocystic breasts have breast pain or discomfort, as well as swelling, which is usually exacerbated the week before a woman’s period. Breasts may be lumpy throughout the breast or in one more specific location. Women may experience shooting pains to the arm & back. This is from stimulation of nerves in that area.

  • Course:
  • It is not unusual for women to experience a flare of fibrocystic symptoms. This may occur several times during the year. Some possible contributing causes may include stress, increased caffeine and increased levels of estrogen in the blood.

  • FBC and cancer:
  • While there may be a very small statistical increase in the risk of breast cancer in women with fibrocystic breasts, experts believe this risk is too small to be of clinical importance. It can, however, make it more difficult to screen for breast cancer, but keeping up with annual physical exams and recommended mammograms help make this less of a challenge.