Fluid filled sacs in the breasts or cysts in breast tissue can be painful, they can cause worry and anxiety but rarely are they malignant and in many cases treatment for breast cysts is not absolutely necessary.
Nor do cysts increase one’s breast cancer risk. Cysts in the breast can feel like round or oval lumps, with clear edges; rather like a water-filled balloon or a soft grape, but in some cases can be firmer to the touch.
Cysts in breast tissue are really not that uncommon, and many women in their 30’s and 40’s may have them.
Cysts can appear during the latter half of a woman’s reproductive years, and most often they resolve on their own, after menopause.
Women who undergo hormone therapy find that the cysts may reemerge or may continue, so clearly breasts cysts have a strong connection to female hormones.
Cysts in the breast may be difficult or impossible to detect with just a physical examination, and the size of a cyst could range in size from the size of a pea to the size of a ping pong ball. An ultrasound or a mammogram is usually required to detect breast cysts.
Unless the Breast cysts are painful, they may require not treatment, since most are benign and apt to resolve themselves. Even when treatment is in fact required, all that may be required is for the fluid in the cyst(s) to be drained by way of aspiration.
When are cysts in breast tissue dangerous?
If an ultrasound shows that there are certain solid nodules contained in the fluid filled cysts, then this could indicate possible malignancy or a precancerous lesion for which further investigation and treatment would be necessary.
How can cysts in breasts be detected?
If you suspect a breast cyst, look for a round or oval breast lump which is smooth to the touch and movable. Pain or tenderness is one of the main indicators of the presence of a cyst. The pain or tenderness as well as the size of the cyst could be more pronounced just before the period, which is proportionally lowest just after the end of the period.
When and what treatment is required for cysts in breast tissue?
Often if the cyst or cysts are not causing any pain or discomfort, there may be no treatment required. Wearing a well supporting bra can help reduce pain and discomfort. If treatment is in fact required, needle aspiration biopsy (using a needle to extract fluid from the cyst) may be all that is required.
If, however the cyst reappears after this (cysts are known to often recur after aspiration), and continue to cause problems, a surgical intervention to remove the cyst may be required. Also if the cyst fluid is tinged with blood or if there is monthly recurrence of the cyst, this may be a cause for concern and surgery may be indicated.
Is it possible to prevent cysts in breasts?
Lifestyle factors such as improving diet, adding exercise and lowering stress are known to lower breast cyst incidence. Reducing caffeine and salt in the diet may also help according to some experts.