Which are the symptoms?
Some cysts are too small to feel, while others grouw up to several centimeters and cause discomfort. The patient usually feels a lump that can be sof or hard, it is round and smooth, easily movable under the skin. Cysts can also be painful due to the cyst wall tension when the fluid increases, especially before the menstrual cycle or in case of infection.
- breast lump
- breast pain
How is it diagnosed?
Most cysts are found during routine breast exams, whils large cyst are discovered by the same patient or the doctor during a clinical exam. Both mammography and breast ultrasound can diagnose a breast cyst showing a fluid-filled lesion. Imaging is essential to distinguish among: simple cyst that are entirely filled with fluid, complicated breast cyst also containing solid fragments floating in the fluid and complex breast cyst hosting some solid tissue inside. Fine needle cytology can be helpful to analyze cells within the fluid, whilst core biopsy can reveal the nature of the solid tissue inside a cyst.
How is it treated?
Most cysts are not dangerous and do not require treatment. However, if the cyst makes the patient uncomfortable, it can be drained or removed. Complicated cysts require evaluation by a specialist, who may recommend regular observation or surgical removal.