Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Chronic Cystic Mastitis

Chronic Cystic Mastitis


Chronic cystic mastitis, also known as fibrocystic disease of the breast, is the most common disorder of the female breast. It is thought to result from an exaggerated hormonal effect on the breast, resulting in pain and an overgrowth of fibrous, epithelial, and/or cystic tissue.

Although the condition is benign, at least some forms of the disease are believed to be associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer.


Primary factors
Persistent stimulation of breast tissue by the ovarian hormone, estrogen, is believed to be causing fibrocystic disease.

Predisposing factors
Family History

Signs & Symptoms

Painful and tender, often multiple and bilateral, cystic masses in the breast. Rapid fluctuation in the size and tenderness of the masses is common, and usually correlates with the latter part of the menstrual cycle. Most common in women 30-50 years of age.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Women's Health &

General Supplements

Vitamin A*
Vitamin C*
Vitamin E*

* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A has been found to reduce symptoms of fibrocystic disease in a preliminary study. The dose used, 150,000 I.U./per day for 3 months, is potentially toxic and should not be taken without the supervision of a physician.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has decreased the symptoms of fibrocytic disease in single blinded and uncontrolled trials. Several studies have also shown objective improvement or normalization of hormone levels. Only one of several double-blind studies have shown positive results to date. Doses were typically 400-600 I.U./day. It remains unclear whether vitamin E has a therapeutic effect in the treatment of fibrocystic disease.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Avoidance of caffeine-containing foods (coffee, tea - black, green tea, chocolate and some soft drinks - including most cola drinks, has lead to a decrease in the symptoms of fibrocystic disease, which has varied from dramatic to very mild, in therapeutic effect. It should be noted the poorest results came from a group of women who clearly did not totally abstain from caffeine consumption.

Case control studies on women with fibrocystic disease have shown both that women do and do not drink more coffee than healthy women. It is quite possible, however, women who get fibrocystic disease are simply more sensitive to the effects of coffee than others and do not necessarily have to consume more coffee than women without the disease. Once properly diagnosed, a four to six month trial of total avoidance of caffeine and caffeine-like substances may be helpful.

A Low Fat Diet (Pritikin) or Low Fat Diet (Non Pritikin) has been found to decrease both the pain and hormone levels (estrone, estradiol and prolactin) associated with the disease in a group of fibrocystic patients. Although this is a single, preliminary study, a low fat diet (in this case, 24% of of calories) does not present a health hazard and may be worth a trial. The study lasted 3 months and reduced pain in all 10 participants.

Homeopathic Remedy

1. Murex - 30C

Advanced, by symptom:

1. Hot, hard, painful - Bryonia alba tinct..

2. Hot, hard and throbbing, red streaks radiating from nipple - Belladonna tinct..

3. Lumps in breast, purple in color - Phytolacca decandra.

4. Cracked nipples - Castor equi.

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.


X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Herbal Approaches


Milk Thistle Herb

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Breast congestion:

Fennel Essence,
Geranium Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Benign Breast Disease
Breast Cancer



Abrams, A.A. Use of vitamin E in chronic cystic mastits. New Eng J Med 1965; 272: 1081 - letter.

Aquino, T. & B. Eskin. Rat breast structure in altered iodine metabolism. Arch Path 1972; 94: 280-5.

Band, P., M. Deschamps, M. Falardeau, J. Ladouceur & J. Cote. Treatment of benign breast disease with vitamin A. Prev Med 1984; 13: 549-54.

Bedinghaus JM: Care of the breast and support of breast-feeding. Prim Care, 1997 Mar, 24:1, 147-60.

Boyle, C.A., et. al. Caffeine consumption and fibrocystic disease: a case-control epidemiologic study. JNCI 1984; 72 (5): 1015-19.

Brooks, P., S. Gart, A. Heldfond, M. Margolin & A. Allen. Measuring the effect of caffeine restriction on fibrocystic breast disease. J Reprod Med 1981; 26(6): 279-82.

Bruzzi P et al., Cohort study of association of risk of breast cancer with cyst type in women with gross cystic disease of the breast. BMJ, 1997 Mar 29, 314:7085, 925-8.

Diamandis EP et al., Prostate specific antigen--a new constituent of breast cyst fluid. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 1996, 38:3, 259-64.

DiPiro PJ et al., Seat belt injuries of the breast: findings on mammography and sonography. AJR Am J Roentgenol, 1995 Feb, 164:2, 317-20.

Ernstner, V., W. Goodson, T. Hunt, N. Petrakis, E. Sickles, et.al. Vitamin E and benign breast "disease": a double-blind randomized clinical trial. Surgery 1985; 97: 490-494.

Ernstner, V.L., L. Mason, W.H. Goodson, E.A. Sickles, S.T. Sacks, et. al.

Effects of caffeine-free diet on benign breast disease: a randomized trail. Surgery 1982; 91(3): 263-7.

Friedman. Risk factors for benign breast disease: a case control study of discordant twins. Am J Epidemiol 1984; 120(4): 565-71.

Haile RW et al., A case-control study of reproductive variables, alcohol, and smoking in premenopausal bilateral breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 1996, 37:1, 49-56.

Isaacs-JH: Benign tumors of the breast. Obstet-Gynecol-Clin-North-Am. 1994 Sep; 21(3): 487-97.

Jonsson, S & Pulkkinen, M.O. Mastitis today: incidence, prevention and treatment. Ann. Chir. Gynaecol. Supp. 1994; 208: 84-7.

Krause, T.B., B.A. Eskin & J. Mobini. Age-related changes resembling fibrocystic disease in iodine-blocked rat breasts. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1979; 103: 631-4.

Lai LC: Metabolism of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate by breast cysts: possible role in the development of breast cancer. Cancer Detect Prev, 1995, 19:5, 441-5.

LaVecchia, C., Franceschi, Parazzini, Regaalo & Decarli. Consumption of beverages containing methylxanthines. JNCI 1985; 74(5): 995.

Lawson, D.H., H. Jick & K.J. Rothman. Coffee and tea consumption and breast disease. Surgery 1981; 90(5): 801.

London, R.S., et. al. Endocrine parameters and alpha-tocopherol therapy of patients with mamary dysplasia. Cancer Res 1981; 41: 3811-13.

London, R.S., et. al. The effect of vitamin E on mammary dysplasia: a double blind study. Obstet Gynecol 1985; 65(1): 104-6.

Lubin, F., E. Ron, Y. Wax, et. al. A case-control study of caffeine and methylxanthines in benign breast disease. JAMA 1985; 253(16): 2388-92.

Marshall, Graham, et.al. Caffeine consumption and benign breast disease: a case-control comparison. Am J Publ Health 1982; 72(6): 610-12.

Mart?nez L et al., Thyroid hormones in fibrocystic breast disease. Eur J Endocrinol, 1995 Jun, 132:6, 673-6.

Maygarden SJ et al., Are epithelial cells in fat or connective tissue a reliable indicator of tumor invasion in fine-needle aspiration of the breast? Diagn Cytopathol, 1997 Feb, 16:2, 137-42.

Minton, J.P., M.K. Foecking, D.J.T. Webster & R.H. Matthews. Caffeine, cyclic nucleotides, and breast disease. Surgery 1979; 86(1): 105-9.

Odenheimer, D.J., M.V. Zunzunegui, M.C. King, C.P. Shipler & G.D. Risk factors for benign breast diseas: a case-control study of discordant twins. Am J Epidemion. 1984;120(4):565-71.

Sartorius OW: The biochemistry of breast cyst fluids and duct secretions. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 1995 Sep, 35:3, 255-66.

Simpson HW et al., The luteal heat cycle of the breast in disease. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 1996, 37:2, 169-78.

Sundaram, G.S., R. London, S. Margolis, R. Wenk, J. Lustgarten, P.O. Nair & P. Goldstein. Serum hormones and lipoproteins in benign breast disease. Cancer Res 1981; 41: 3814-16.

Sundaram, G.S., et. al. Alpha tocopherol and serum lipoproteins. Lipids 1981; 16: 223-7.

Wright, J.V. Iodine and related nutrients in the treatment of cystic mastitis. Newsletter of the American Holistic Medical Association 1982 December:3.

Zhuo B et al., 280 cases of hyperplasia of mammary gland treated by ru he chong ji. J Tradit Chin Med, 1995 Dec, 15:4, 256-8.


Follow Applied Health on FaceBook Follow Applied Health on Twitter Follow Applied Health on Pinterest Follow Applied Health on YouTube

cruelty free - tested only on humans
We test only on humans