Womack Army Medical Center
Site Map
WAMC Troop Command
Skip navigation links
Bariatric Surgery Clinic
Breast Health Clinic
New Patient Information
Breast Health or Early Detection
Breast CancerExpand Breast Cancer
Breast PainExpand Breast Pain
Benign Breast Disease
Fibrocystic Breast
Breast Cysts
Breast Feeding
Breastfeeding Consultation
Childbirth Education
Department of Brain Injury Medicine
Department of Behavioral Health
Department of Medicine
Department of Ministry
Department of Optometry
Department of Pediatrics
Department of Surgery
Deployment Health
Directorate of Business Operations (DBO)
Emergency Medicine
Fisher House
Maternal Child Health
Medical Management
Nursing Research
Nutrition Care Division
Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN)
Occupational Therapy Services
Pre-Admissions Unit
Preventive Medicine
WAMC Sports
Women's Fitness

Fibrocystic Breasts 

Fibrocystic breasts are breast that take on a lumpy, bumpy feel on exam.  It is due to the tissue in the breast and is very normal.  In fact, more than half to two-thirds of all women will experience fibrocystic breast changes at some point in their lives.  It can be a source of breast pain and tenderness and is usually self limiting.

  • Symptoms:  Symptoms of fibrocystic breasts include:
  • Breast lumps or areas of thickening
  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Fluctuating size of breast lumps
  • In some cases, nonbloody nipple discharge
  • Changes usually occur in both breasts
  • Monthly increase in breast pain or lumpiness from midcycle to just before your period.
  • Causes:  The exact cause of fibrocystic breast changes isn’t known, but experts suspect that reproductive hormones  especially estrogen-play a role.  When examined under a microscope, fibrocystic breast tissue includes distinct components such as:
      • Fluid filled round or oval sacs (cysts)
      • A prominence of fibrous tissue (similar to scar tissue)
      • Overgrowth of cells (hyperplasia) lining the milk ducts or milk-producing tissues (lobules) of the breast
      • Enlarged breast lobules (adenosis)

  • Risk factors:  Having fibrocystic breasts does not increase your risk of breast cancer.  However, if you find a new lump or area of thickening, or if a previously evaluated breast lump seems to have grown or otherwise changed, make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out.