The Treatment of Fibrocystic Breasts with Chinese Herbs
Chief Complaint: fibrocystic breasts
Western Diagnosis: fibrocystic breast disease
Medical History: T., 47 year old female, came to me complaining of fibrocystic breasts. Gyn exam revealed lumpy breast tissue, with scattered fluid-filled cysts in the upper quadrants. There was no pain associated with the condition. Menstrual history is uneventful; general good health. She began menstruating at 11 years of age, had two pregnancies, one live birth, and one abortion. Her gynecologist suggested mammography, but T. wanted to try Chinese medicine first. T. exercises regularly, using weights, flexibility training, aerobics, and Qi gong. She also meditates daily, eats a wide variety of foods, and regularly takes vitamin supplements; she detoxes three times per year.
Questioning exam: T. reported that she had been cystic since her early twenties, and had a fibrous benign mass removed when she was 19 years old. Appetite was reported as normal; there were no digestive problems. Urination and bowel movements were normal. Energy levels reported 10 out of 10; no problems with sweating except a few nights before the period begins. Sleep is normal,8 hours, excepting the week before the period when she wakes at about 3 a.m. for about one hour before falling back to sleep.
Pulse exam: The pulse rate was recorded at 72, with even rhythm. Pulse quality revealed a thin, thready pulse, rather weak and superficial.Breast palpation revealed numerous lumpy areas. Meridian analysis revealed no tender areas.
Tongue exam: The tongue was pale, with a thin white coating, with some minor scalloping.
OM Diagnosis: Diagnosis was Kidney yin deficiency, Liver Qi stagnation, and accumulation of phlegm in the channels. When Kidney yin is deficient, the Liver is not properly nourished, resulting in a disruption of Qi movement. This disruption leads to stagnation. Since the fluids of the body are not allowed to flow freely due to the stagnation of Liver Qi, dampness accumulates and eventually congeals into phlegm. This phlegm resulted in cystic formations in the Stomach and Spleen channels.
Treatment Principle: Treatment was aimed at nourishing yin, soothing Liver Qi, and resolving stagnation, eliminating phlegm accumulation, and calming the shen.
Point Prescription: Acupuncture was not used for this protocol.
Herbal Formula: Liu Wei Di huang Wan (K’an Herbals), 2 tablets two times per day (to nourish Kidney yin and drain damp); Xiao Yao Wan (K’an Herbals), 2 tablets three times per day ( to soothe Liver Qi, relieve stagnation, and benefit the Spleen); one gram each of Hai Zao and KunBu in hot water three times per day (to resolve phlegm and reduce nodules). In addition, one capsule daily of Tyler Encapsulations Breast Phytonutrition was prescribed (contains: isoflavones, panax ginseng, curcuma longa, hesperidin methylchalcone, and rosemarinus officinalis).This protocol was followed for three weeks, with one week off during the menses. Then entire course of treatment lasted for three cycles.
Results: After three cycles, mammography revealed no cystic formations. Nine months’ follow-up revealed no return of the cysts.
Carmen Ciarcia, M.S., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., C.H.
Holistic Health Center
75 Berlin Rd.