Fibrocystic change

Epidemiology

  • Women aged 20-50 (more common >40) and very common in the general population (around 25% will have some degree of fibrocystic change)
  • Usually associated with hormone imbalance
    • Early menarche/ late or prolonged menopause
    • Hormonal contraception

Signs/Symptoms

  • Smooth, discreet lumps or general breast lumpiness
  • May be associated with sudden/cyclical pain
  • May be an incidental finding at screening (or other test)

Gross pathology

  • Cysts – may be up to several cm in size; blue domed with pale fluid; usually multiple; associated with other benign changes (see aberrations of normal development)

Microscopic pathology

  • Cysts- thin wall (may be fibrotic) lined with apocrine epithelium

Management

  • Exclude malignancy and reassure
    • Excise if causing severe problems (symptomatically)

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