By Cathy Robinson BSc(Hons) DipNutMed MWNMS
Breast cysts are tender or painful sacs filled with fluid that can change or enlarge according to the menstrual cycle. Hormonal fluctuations, namely an increase in oestrogen accompanied by a fall in progesterone, or a relative imbalance between the two hormones, which occur one to two weeks before menstruation, can cause glands present in the breast to fill with fluid and increase in size. Breast cysts can also be associated with poor liver function. The liver is unable to break down excess oestrogen, meaning that levels build up in the body. Fibrocystic breasts have dense fibrous tissue in addition to cysts and, again, tend to become lumpier just prior to a period. The cysts can be felt through the skin and usually move when palpated. They tend to recur each month.
Breast cysts are very common and, although there is only a small correlation between them and the development of breast cancer, it is important to get any lumps checked out by your GP.
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