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Breast Cysts

By

Mary Ann Kosir

, MD, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Sep 2020| Content last modified Sep 2020
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Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in the breast.

Breast cysts can be tiny or several inches in diameter.

Cysts sometimes cause breast pain Breast Pain Many women experience breast pain. Breast pain may occur in one or both breasts. (See also Overview of Breast Disorders.) Likely causes of breast pain depend on whether the pain is felt in a... read more . To relieve the pain, a doctor may drain fluid from the cyst with a thin needle (called aspiration). The fluid is examined under a microscope to check for cancer only if any of the following occurs:

  • The fluid is bloody or cloudy.

  • Little fluid is obtained.

  • The lump is still present after the fluid is drained.

Otherwise, the woman is checked again in 4 to 8 weeks. If the cyst can no longer be felt at this time, it is considered noncancerous. If it has reappeared, it is drained again, and the fluid is examined under a microscope. If the cyst reappears a third time or if it is still present after it was drained, a biopsy is done.

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