noncancerous cysts (harmless swellings caused by fluid trapped in breast tissues) that often increase in size and become tender during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle. This condition occurs most often in women between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Aside from discomfort, the chief problem posed by the disease is that it makes the detection of other abnormalities more difficult. Nevertheless, women with the disease are three times more likely to develop breast cancer as they age than are women without the disease. Fibrocystic disease may be monitored by routine breast self-examinations and through regular check-ups by a physician.
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