Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Fibrocystic breast disease is described as common, benign (non-cancerous) changes in the tissues of the breast. The term “disease” in this case is misleading, and many providers prefer the term “change.”

The condition is so commonly found in breasts, it is believed to be a variation of normal. Other related terms include “mammary dysplasia,” “benign breast disease,” and “diffuse cystic mastopathy.”

It is estimated that over 60% of all women have this condition. It is common in women between the ages of 30 and 50, and rare in postmenopausal women.

We don’t necessarily consider fibrocystic breasts as normal. While we realize that it is a benign condition, it often has an underlying cause that needs to be evaluated and treated.

Symptoms typically peak just before each menstrual cycle, and improve immediately after menstruation. It is in many ways often related to hormone imbalance. Another common finding is the relationship between fibrocystic breast disease and iodine deficiency. Thyroid disease is not the only disease related to iodine deficiency. Breast tissue also concentrates iodine and uses iodine to block the receptor sites for estrogen. By blocking these binding sites, breast tissue can be less susceptible to the negative effects of estrogen. Fibrocystic breast tissue is affected adversely by estrogen.

We can determine iodine deficiency through urinalysis and can then supplement with the proper type of iodine.

If you are suffering from fibrocystic breast disease, a thorough consultation and exam may help you resolve this problem. Thermography imaging may also provide additional information on overall breast health.