Cystic disease, which includes cystic mastitis, chronic cystic mastitis, and fibrocystic disease affects 15 to 20 per cent of women in the 20 to 50 year old age bracket. It is characterized by lumps or a granular feeling in the breast(s) and pain, all of which generally gets worse premenstrually. A less common symptom is a bloody, brown, green, or yellow discharge from the nipple.
This condition is caused by hormones (estradiol and estrone) which are produced by the ovaries and settle into estrogen receptor sites causing irritation in the breasts. A well nourished liver can convert these hormones into estriol, which is non-irritating and binds up the estrogen receptor sites preventing estradiol and estrone from getting in and causing problems.
Some researchers have suggested that women who have cystic disease have a higher risk of cancer. Dr. Saifer has reported in The Yeast Syndrome that Candida albicans can either result from or play a role in fibrocystic disease.
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