Breast cysts are fluid filled sacs within your breast. You can have one or many breast cysts. They usually feel like a fluid filled balloon with distinct edges. Breast cysts are common in all women, but in particular women in their 30s and 40s. They usually disappear after menopause unless a woman is on hormone replacement.
- A smooth, easily movable round or oval breast lump which is well circumscribed.
- Breast pain or tenderness in the area of the breast lump. This can be acute in nature.
- Increase in breast tenderness just before your period
- Decrease in breast lump size and tenderness after your period.
- Causes: Each of your breast contains lobes of glandular tissue, arranged like the petals of a daisy. The lobes produce milk during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Small ducts conduct the milk to a reservoir just beneath your nipple. Cysts develop when an overgrowth of glands and connective tissue block ducts, causing them to dilate and fill with fluid.
- Tests and diagnosis: Screening and diagnosis of a breast cyst usually begins with a clinical breast exam by your provider. Other tests that can be helpful include:
Breast Ultrasound: An ultrasound can help determine whether a lump is fluid-filled or solid. A fluid-filled area usually indicates a breast cyst. Based on what the radiologist may see on the ultrasound, your doctor might recommend a biopsy of aspiration.
Cyst aspiration: During this procedure, your doctor inserts a needle into the cyst to remove the fluid. If the fluid comes out and the breast lump goes away, your doctor can make a breast cyst diagnosis right away.
- Surgery: Surgical removal of a breast cyst is necessary only in a few unusual circumstances. If an uncomfortable breast cyst recurs, or if a breast cyst contains other worrisome signs, surgery may be considered.