Breast Cysts: Symptoms and What to Expect

BCMG Breast CystsA breast cyst is simply a fluid-filled sac in the breast. It is fairly common, especially in women between 35-50, but can be found in women of any age. If you perform regular breast self-exams, you may find a breast cyst on your own. Or, your radiologist may find a breast cyst on a regular screening mammogram. A breast cyst is usually non-cancerous and doesn’t require treatment unless it is large or causes pain or discomfort.

Breast Cyst Symptoms

Common symptoms of a breast cyst include:

  • Smooth, movable round or oval lump
  • Nipple discharge
  • Breast pain or tenderness near the lump
  • The lump changes throughout the menstrual cycle often becoming larger right before your period and then shrinking afterward

Next Steps

If you notice a lump that could be a breast cyst, call your doctor and schedule an appointment. Write down any symptoms you may be having and keep track of any breast changes you notice. Your doctor will conduct a thorough exam and may recommend additional tests like a breast ultrasound.

A breast ultrasound is a safe and painless exam that will allow your radiologist to determine if the lump is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass, and whether additional testing or procedures are necessary. Before the exam, you will undress from the waist up and put on a gown. The technologist will apply some gel to the area, which helps to reduce static interference with ultrasound images. Then the technologist will put the transducer onto the gel and move it around to get a clear picture of the breast. Depending on whether the lump is fluid-filled or solid, your radiologist may recommend removing some of the fluid or cells to be examined more closely for a definitive diagnosis.

A simple breast cyst is not dangerous. Treatment is usually not required and most cysts go away on their own. Having one or more breast cysts does not increase your risk for breast cancer however, it is important to check your breasts regularly for any changes to the cyst or surrounding tissue. If you notice any new changes or the development of a new cyst, it’s best to call your doctor.

Breast Imaging at The Breast Center of Maple Grove

The Breast Center of Maple Grove offers a full range of breast imaging services including mammography, ultrasound, and biopsies in our convenient and comfortable location. To schedule your exam or learn more about our services, call our team at 763-398-6370.