Fibroadenosis or fibrocystic dysplasia

Fibroadenosis is characterized by the presence of benign lumps or cysts in the breast. The cysts can vary in size, number and composition. They sometimes contain moisture. More than sixty percent of women between the ages of twenty-five and fifty suffer from it.

Lump or cysts in the breast

Many doctors believe that it is not a real disease. The symptoms are worse just before menstruation. The cysts are benign. However, a certain diagnosis can only be made with a biopsy. The symptoms usually disappear after menopause.

Symptoms of fibro-adenosis

  • One or more painless lumps or swellings in the breast.
  • Tenderness or painful lumps in the breasts. Mainly a week before menstruation.
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breasts.



The actual cause of fibroadenosis is not known. Estrogen and other sex hormones can play a role in the development of cysts in the breast.


The condition cannot be prevented. Monthly self-examination (see below) of the breasts, annual check-ups by a doctor and mammographic examination every two years after the age of 50 guarantee early detection.

Source: Maialisa, Pixabay


A breast examination or mammography may reveal a lump in the breast. In some cases, a biopsy is taken from the lump or cyst. Fluid is sucked away with a hollow needle (needle aspiration) or tissue is removed via a minor procedure. The biopsy is the only way to determine whether a lump is benign or malignant.

Breast cancer self-examination

It is recommended that every woman regularly (monthly) self-examines for breast cancer for prevention. It has not been proven that breast cancer is detected earlier through self-examination, which is why it is also important to participate in the breast cancer screening program. In the article Breast cancer self-examination you will find how the self-examination works.

Fibroadenosis treatment

OTC painkillers can be taken for the pain (remedies are available at common drugstores). A good, supportive bra can also reduce sensitivity and pain. Sometimes hormones are prescribed to combat the symptoms.
Draining or removing the lump via needle aspiration (see earlier) or biopsy may also be considered.

To the doctor

If you discover a lump somewhere in the breast or under the arm, it is important to go to the doctor. Most lumps are not malignant, but a biopsy often needs to be performed to make a certain diagnosis. Also go to the doctor if the lumps in the breasts become harder or more painful.

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