For fibrocystic changes, birth control pills are often helpful. Other women are helped by:
- Avoiding caffeine and chocolate
- Limiting fat and increasing fiber in the diet
- Taking vitamin E, vitamin B complex, or evening primrose oil supplements
Call your health care provider if
Call your doctor if:
- The skin on your breast appears dimpled or wrinkled (like the peel of an orange)
- You find a new breast lump during your monthly self-exam
- You have bruising on your breast, but did not experience any injury
- You have nipple discharge, especially if it is bloody or pinkish (blood-tinged)
- Your nipple is inverted (turned inward) but normally is not inverted
Also call if:
- You are a woman, age 20 or older, and want guidance on how to perform a breast self-examination
- You are a woman over age 40 and have not had a mammogram in the past year
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your doctor will get a complete history from you, with special attention to factors that may increase your risk of
Medical history questions regarding breast lumps include:
- When and how did you first notice the lump?
- Do you have other symptoms such as pain, nipple discharge, or fever?
- Where is the lump located?
- Do you do breast self-exams, and is this lump a recent change?
- Have you had any type of injury to your breast?
- Are you taking any hormones, medications, or supplements?
Tests that may be performed include:
- Biopsy of the lump
- Needle aspiration of a cyst and examination of the fluid under a microscope
- Study of nipple discharge under a microscope
- Ultrasound to see if the lump is solid or a cyst
Treatment of a breast lump depends on the cause. Solid breast lumps are often removed surgically. Cysts can be drained. Breast infections require antibiotics. If
If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may also suggest testing for genes that make you more likely to get breast cancer.
Review Date: 08/17/2009
Reviewed By: Dan Sacks, MD, FACOG. Obstetrics & Gynecology in Private Practice, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by Verimed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.