- Breast Pain, Cyclic
- Breast Tenderness, Cyclic
- Cyclic Mastitis
- Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Some women's breasts are unusually tender and lumpy, with symptoms of pain and dull heaviness that vary with the menstrual cycle. This condition is called cyclic mastalgia or cyclic mastitis and is often associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). When the lumps become significant enough to be called cysts, the condition is called fibrocystic breast disease.
Besides discomfort, perhaps the worst problem of this condition is that it can mimic the appearance of breast cancer on mammograms, leading to false alarms. To make matters worse, fibrocystic changes can also hide true cancers, and some evidence hints that women with fibrocystic breast disease may also have a greater tendency toward breast cancer.
Conventional treatment for cyclic mastalgia involves anti-inflammatory medications and, sometimes, hormonal treatments.
Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
Cyclic mastalgia often occurs in connection with PMS .
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Chasteberry article.
Other Proposed Natural Treatments
Fish oil taken alone has, thus far, failed to prove effective for cyclic breast pain.
Like chasteberry, the herb bugleweed appears to reduce prolactin levels and, for this reason, has also been tried for the treatment of cyclic mastalgia. However, this herb affects the thyroid gland, and we do not recommend it.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -