What are fibrocystic breasts?
The word fibrocyst literally means “fiber bag”. In the case of a fibrocyst this term refers to a cyst (i.e. a a closed epithelium-lined formation in the body) made of fibers (generally dense tissue). "Fibrocystic breasts" is a term used to label a number of benign (non-cancerous) breast irregularities. The term typically refers to breasts that are lumpy, usually at the time of the menstrual cycle when one or more of these benign lumps, or the general feeling of lumpiness, may increase due to extra fluid collecting in the breast tissue. While in the past it was referred to by physicians as "fibrocystic breast disease", critics have said that this was a terminology used by doctors as an umbrella under which to categorize numerous, and vastly different, breast irregularities. Benign breast irregularities will occur in over half of all women at some point in their lifetime, accounting for nearly 90% of breast masses in women. 80% of lumps which are biopsied are found to be benign. It is increasingly important for women to become familiar with their breasts so they can sense irregularity and advocate for testing.