Breast Cancer

Breast Cysts

What are breast cysts?

  • Breast cysts are fluid filled sacs inside the breast, usually round or oval shaped and feel a little like a grape but can sometimes feel firm.  Occasionally, they can cause pain and discomfort.
  • They are usually not cancerous (benign) and are not indicative of an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Breast cysts are most common in women aged between 35 and 50 years but can present in women of any age.
  • It is not known what causes breast cysts, but they may develop as a result of hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle.
  • Some evidence suggests excess estrogen can stimulate breast tissue causing cysts to form.

What are the symptoms for breast cysts?

  • Tenderness or pain near or around the breast lump

What are the symptoms for breast cysts?

  • Smooth, round or oval lump with distinct edges that can be easily moved around
  • Tenderness or pain near or around the breast lump

What are the treatments for breast cysts?

  • While simple cysts are benign, complex cysts often require imaging to rule out breast cancer. 
  • Very occasionally, breast cancer can be misdiagnosed as a complex cyst, so imaging can help to pinpoint any cancerous activity.
  • Most cysts do not need treatment unless they are large and painful or cause discomfort in which case aspiration with a needle to drain the fluid can relieve symptoms.

This is not a substitute for medical advice. Please see your GP or breast surgeon if you have breast cysts.

    Quick Enquiry