Warning: mysqli_select_db() expects exactly 2 parameters, 1 given in /home/healths/public_html/makeconn.php on line 6

Deprecated: mysql_query(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/healths/public_html/includes/qa_check.php on line 23

Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/healths/public_html/includes/qa_check.php on line 23

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/healths/public_html/includes/qa_check.php on line 23

Warning: mysql_num_rows() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/healths/public_html/includes/qa_check.php on line 24
Treatment of Fibrocystic Breast Disease

 Categories of Q&A
Genetics & Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer in Men
Signs & Symptoms
Breast Cancer Screening
Side Effects
Side Effects on Sex & Intimacy
Integrative & Alternative Medicine
Health for Women
Q&A for Survivors
 The magazine on:

  • Women's health
  • Breast health
  • Breast cancer
Read for free.
Click here.

Treatment of Fibrocystic Breast Disease  

My doctor says I have fibrocystic disease of the breast. Is there anything I can do to eliminate the problem or lessen the symptoms?

Yes. There are several types of treatments available, including dietary changes, nutritional supplementation, hormonal balancing, and medications that you can consider for managing fibrocystic breast disease.

An estimated 30% of women in the U.S. have fibrocystic disease of the breast.[1]

Typically, fibrocystic changes of the breast are soft and mobile, benign (i.e., non-cancerous) lumps, which can make the breasts feel lumpy or bumpy in many pre-menopausal women and many post-menopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy.[2] Also, some pre-menopausal women with fibrocystic disease of the breast experience related pain or tenderness in their breasts during certain parts of their menstrual cycle. In pre-menopausal women, fibrocystic changes of the breast tend to come and go with the menstrual cycle.

The following changes in diet, nutritional supplementation, and lifestyle practices have helped some women to experience a reduction in fibrocystic changes of the breast and to reduce the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease:[1 - 4]

• Eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Consuming foods that are less acidic can help to make the bloodstream less acidic and more neutral (i.e., in pH), thereby preventing inflammation or reducing the amount of inflammation occurring in the body. Eliminating or reducing alcohol intake and reducing consumption of animal products also can prevent or reduce inflammation. In addition, completely avoiding caffeine can lower inflammation and reduce tenderness and pain associated with fibrocystic breast disease. Furthermore, regularly eating lots of salmon, mackerel, herring, and other cold-water fish that are abundant in omega 3 fish oils; regularly eating flaxseed; and regularly eating foods containing flavonoids can help reduce inflammation.
• Eliminating or reducing consumption of chocolate, which otherwise can aggravate the pain of fibrocystic breast disease
• Reducing intake of salt in the diet
• Reducing intake of dietary fats
• Drinking lots of water
• Regularly taking supplements containing omega 3 fish oils, which can help reduce inflammation
• Regularly taking supplements containing flavonoids, which can help reduce inflammation
• Taking vitamin E supplements daily
• Taking thiamine supplements daily
• Increasing dietary iodine intake by eating more seafood and sea vegetables
• Taking daily oral iodine supplements (e.g., molecular iodine) or daily oral iodide supplements (e.g., potassium iodide)
• Taking supplements containing evening primrose, black currant, or borage oil
• Taking a homeopathic remedy (a dilute extract of a substance from a botanical, mineral, or animal source), such as calcarea carbonica, conium maculatum, or lachesis mutus. See a homeopath, a healthcare professional experienced in the use of homeopathy, for guidance on selection of the proper remedy and appropriate dose for you.
• Although taking aspirin or ibuprofen can reduce inflammation and relieve the pain of fibrocystic breast disease, first trying nutritional methods to reduce inflammation in the body is recommended.
• For pre-menopausal women experiencing irregular periods, peri-menopausal women, and post-menopausal women, exploring hormonal balancing with guidance from an integrative medical physician or gynecologist experienced in the use of bio-identical hormones and alternative therapies can help reduce the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Natural progesterone cream may be helpful for some women.

A small clinical trial showed that the majority of the women with fibrocystic disease who received daily oral doses of molecular (i.e., diatomic elemental) iodine for 9 months experienced both complete relief from fibrocystic breast pain and less fibrocystic disease of the breast.[3, 4]

Oral iodine used in various clinical studies of prevention and treatment of fibrocystic breast disease include:[3, 4]

• Molecular iodine
• Other oral pharmaceutical preparations of iodine or iodides
• Food-grade iodine

Molecular iodine may be obtained from a compounding pharmacy.[4] Mere use of iodized salt in the diet however, does not constitute appropriate prevention or treatment of fibrocystic breast disease.[1]

Scientists believe that the protective and therapeutic effects of oral iodine and iodides on fibrocystic disease of the breast involve the following mechanisms:[1, 3, 4]

• Preventing or treating iodine deficiency
• Normalizing function of the thyroid
• Making breast cells less sensitive to the effects of estrogen

Larger clinical studies, however, show that treatment with molecular iodine may be associated with certain (and typically minor) side effects, including:[3, 4]

• Temporary increase in pain of the breast
• Headache
• Acne
• Skin rash
• Thinning of the hair
• Nausea
• Diarrhea
• Hyperthyroidism
• Hypothyroidism

Furthermore, the following possible side effects have been reported in people taking pharmaceutical doses of iodine or iodides:[4]

• Skin rash
• Runny nose
• Excess production of saliva
• Metallic taste in the mouth

For guidance on treatment of fibrocystic disease of the breast, consult your integrative medical physician and your gynecologist. Before taking any nutritional supplements or pharmaceuticals for prevention or treatment of fibrocystic breast disease, discuss your medical history with your integrative medical physician, your gynecologist, and your other healthcare professionals.

It is important to note that fibrocystic changes in a woman who does not have a strong family history of breast cancer generally do not increase the woman’s chances of getting breast cancer.[5] A few women with fibrocystic breast disease, however, have a relatively rare condition in which these patients are at higher risk for developing breast cancer.[2] Clinical, radiology (e.g., ultrasound and mammography), and laboratory evaluation (i.e., fine needle aspiration biopsy) by a physician can distinguish between the usual type of fibrocystic changes of the breast and rare conditions associated with fibrocystic breast disease.

If you are a post-menopausal woman, you need to become familiar with how your breasts usually feel, so that you recognize what is normal for you.

Regardless of your age as an adult woman, when you become familiar with the normal feeling of your breasts, you will be able to recognize changes when and if they occur.


1. D.Williams. Other thyroid trouble. Alternatives. 10(24):190.

2. C. Scott-Connor. Fibrocystic breast disease: Frequently asked questions. Virtual Hospital. Accessed at www.vh.org/adult/patient/surgery/faq/fibrocysticbreastdisease.html.

3. W.R. Ghent. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Canadian Journal of Surgery. 1993; 36:453-460.

4. A.R. Gaby. Iodine treatment of fibrocystic breast disease. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. 11/04.

5. G. Emery. Corrected: Benign breast disease, history studied. Reuters. 07/20/05. Accessed at www.reuters. com.

Questions Related to Treatment of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
If my cancer does recur, how will I be treated?
I’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer. What should I do, including deciding on treatment?
Should I get a second opinion from another doctor about my breast cancer?
What are the treatment options for breast cancer?
What things should I consider when deciding on a type of treatment for my breast cancer?
What does a cancer’s histological grade have to do with selecting a type of treatment?
What treatments are usually associated with the different stages of breast cancer?
What is a bone scan? Why do I need one?
What is the difference between breast cancer and recurrent breast cancer? How do the treatments differ?
What are breast-conserving surgeries?
Why do I need so many doctors involved in my treatment for breast cancer? What do all the doctors do?
What is the difference between local and systemic treatment of breast cancer?
How is hypercalcemia treated?
What is the difference between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy?
When would I choose a mastectomy over a lumpectomy?
When is radiation added after a mastectomy?
What is a lumpectomy?
What is a partial mastectomy?
What is a radical mastectomy?
What is a modified radical mastectomy?
What is a total mastectomy?
What is a segmental mastectomy?
What is a skin-sparing mastectomy?
What is involved with a lumpectomy surgery? How long will it take?
What is involved with a mastectomy surgery? How long will it take to recover?
What is radiation therapy?
When is radiation therapy appropriate for breast cancer?
When is radiation therapy not an option for breast cancer?
Does the procedure for external radiation therapy hurt?
Will external radiation therapy make me radioactive?
Does radiation therapy increase my risk of my breast cancer recurring?
Does radiation therapy increase my risk of developing cancer in my other breast?
Who is a dosimetrist?
What happens during your radiation setup?
What happens during the actual treatments with external radiation?
What is brachytherapy?
How long will my external radiation therapy take?
What is a boost dose of radiation?
What is intraoperative radiation therapy?
What is hyperfractionated radiation therapy?
What is radiosurgery ablation?
Can I take vitamins during radiation treatment?
What is chemotherapy? How does it work? How is the treatment taken?
What are SERMs? How do they work?
What are aromatase inhibitors? How do they work?
What is tamoxifen? How does it work?
What is Arimidex?
What is Taxol?
What are the different classes of chemotherapy (chemo) drugs used to treat breast cancer?
What are adjuncts?

Page 1 of 5
   | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next


is a trademark of HC Search Corporation.