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Breast Cancer

Fibrocystic breasts

06/25/2007

Question:

How common or uncommon is it for a 60 year old to develop cysts or fibronomas or fibrocystic disease when she has only had a couple of cysts when younger. I thought as a woman ages her breasts become smooth. Is that true. Do fibrocystic disease hurt or is there no pain.

Answer:

Fibrocystic tissue of the breasts may hurt - but it doesn't have to.  Once a woman goes through menopause, the fibrocystic tissue usually starts to improve (less lumpy, less pain) unless the person takes hormone replacement therapy such as premarin or prempro.  Taking hormone pills or using hormone cream or patches causes the fibrocystic tissue to continue to develop.  Postmenopausal women on hormones can get cysts and fibroadenomas.

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Response by:

Jean T Stevenson, MD, FACS Jean T Stevenson, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University