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Fibrocystic breast changes are symptoms you may feel in your breasts right before your period. Learn what these common symptoms feel like, what causes them--and how to care for your breasts with breast self-awareness.

Fibrocystic Breast Changes

What are some common fibrocystic breast changes?

Fibrocystic breast changes are symptoms you may feel in your breasts right before your period. Your breasts may feel lumpy, swollen, or sore. This is a very common condition. It is not a disease. It is not cancer. Your healthcare provider can rule out problems and help ease your symptoms.

What do fibrocystic breast changes feel like?

Changes in hormone levels during your menstrual cycle affect your breasts. If you have fibrocystic breasts, your breasts may feel sore. This can often happen before your period. Your breasts may swell or feel lumpier at this time.

You may feel more breast lumpiness as you enter middle age. That is when the glandular tissue in your breasts that makes milk gives way to softer, fatty tissue.

Women with lumpy breasts may have other noncancer (benign) breast conditions.

Caring for your breasts

Breast lumpiness can make it harder to tell if you have new lumps to be concerned about. Breast self-awareness is the key to caring for your breasts. If you have lumpy breasts, it is important to learn what your breasts normally look and feel like. This will help you find any breast changes more easily. Call your provider right away if you notice any changes. It is also important to get mammograms as often as directed by national guidelines and your healthcare provider. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and American Cancer Society have different guidelines for women. Talk with your healthcare provider about the right schedule for you.

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