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Breast Cyst

Sean T. Canale, MD, FACS -  - Oncoplastic Breast Surgery

Carolina Breast Care Specialists, PA

Sean T. Canale, MD, FACS

Oncoplastic Breast Surgery located in Raleigh, NC

It can be scary finding a lump in your breast, but it doesn’t always mean you have breast cancer. As the only private breast care practice in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Sean T. Canale, MD, brings more than 20 years of experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of breast conditions, like breast cysts, to Carolina Breast Care Specialists, PA. For a same-day, next-day, or second-opinion consultation, call Carolina Breast Care Specialists, or book an appointment online today.

Breast Cyst Q & A

What is a breast cyst?

A breast cyst is a growth filled with fluid inside of your breast. You can have a single cyst or many in one or both of your breasts. These lumps often feel like a grape, but can also seem firm. Most breasts cysts are not cancerous and are often fairly round with a distinct edge.

The exact cause of breast cysts is unknown, though, they have links with hormonal changes caused by menstruation. Women of any age can develop a breast cyst, but they’re most common when you’re between 35 and 50 years of age.

In most cases, a breast cyst doesn’t require medical attention unless it causes discomfort.

What are the symptoms of a breast cyst?

A breast cyst can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Tenderness or pain near the breast lump
  • A breast lump that smooths and movable
  • Nipple discharge that’s clear, yellow, or dark brown
  • Changes in your breast lump size and sensitivity before and after your period

When you have breast cysts, it doesn’t increase your chances of developing breast cancer. However, they can make new changes or lumps harder to detect. It’s important to pay attention to your breasts, so you’re more likely to notice when new changes arise.

How is a breast cyst diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Canale often diagnoses a breast cyst through a comprehensive physical exam that includes a mammogram or breast ultrasound. Based on these results, he might also recommend fine-needle aspiration, a type of biopsy to collect fluid from your abnormal breast tissue.

If Dr. Canale collects fluid from your cyst that isn’t black or bloody, and your lump goes away, it’s likely that you have a breast cyst. When fluid is black or bloody, or if Dr. Canale can’t extract fluid, additional tests are typically required.

In most cases, breast cysts don’t require any treatment. If you experience discomfort, your cyst persists, or has signs of irregularities, Dr. Canale may recommend another fine-needle aspiration, hormone therapy, or surgery, like a lumpectomy, to remove your mass.

To learn more about breast cysts, call Carolina Breast Care Specialists, or schedule an appointment online today.