Breast Cyst

Breast Cyst

Breast cyst  or breast cyst is a round or oval lump that is filled with fluid and grows in the breast tissue. This lump does not contain cancer cells or is benign.

Breast cysts can be more than one and grow on one or both breasts. If palpated, the breast cyst feels mushy like a balloon filled with water. Cysts in the breast can cause discomfort or pain, depending on the size of the cyst.

The growth of breast cysts is influenced by hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle. This condition is generally suffered by women before menopause, between the ages of 35-50 years, especially in women undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

Causes of Breast Cysts

The cause of breast cysts is not yet known for sure. However, cysts grow due to fluid that accumulates in the breast gland.

In addition, the appearance of cysts is also related to hormonal changes in women, especially in the menstrual cycle each month. Cyst growth is thought to be related to high levels  of the hormone estrogen  in the body. The condition triggers changes in the breast tissue and gland to form a cyst.

Breast Cyst Symptoms

Breast cyst symptoms are easy to recognize. Generally in the form of a  lump that can be felt on the breast . Here are the characteristics of breast cyst lumps:

  • Lumps are round or oval in shape and feel easy to shake
  • The lumpy area feels mushy when pressed
  • Lumps appear larger before  menstruation and will shrink again postmenstruation

In addition to the appearance of lumps, breast cysts can also cause  breast pain . In addition, the nipple can release a clear, yellow, or brown liquid.

When should you go to the doctor?

Not all breast lumps are cysts. Therefore, a doctor's examination should be done if there is a lump that appears. The purpose is to be able to know for sure the type and cause of the appearance of the lump.

You are recommended to undergo SADANIS (clinical breast examination) by a doctor periodically from the age of 20. This aims to detect symptoms of abnormalities in the breast as early as possible. SADANIS is performed every 1-3 years, that is on the seventh to tenth day from the first day of menstruation.

Breast Cyst Diagnosis

In order to ensure that the type of lump on the breast is a cyst, the doctor will begin the diagnosis by asking the patient's symptoms and health history.

Next, the doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, especially in the breast area. This is done to find out if there are other abnormalities in the lump that grows in the breast.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will also perform further examinations, such as:

Breast scan

Scanning can be done with  mammography  or  breast ultrasound . Mammography can detect tissue compaction or changes in the breast gland. While scanning with USG can help doctors determine whether the lump is a cyst or a solid tumor.

Fine needle aspiration

Fine needle aspiration is done by inserting a needle into the lump in the breast to collect the fluid inside. This examination is also often done with the help of ultrasound so that the needle can go in accurately.

Depending on the type of fluid that comes out of the fine needle aspiration action, the doctor can perform other additional examinations, one of which is  a breast biopsy .

Breast Cyst Treatment

Breast cysts generally do not require special treatment and can heal on their own. However, if the cyst is painful, some of the following can be done as initial treatment at home:

  • Compressing the breast
    Compressing the breast with warm or cold water can help relieve the pain caused by the cyst.
  • Avoiding caffeine consumption
    In some patients, the pain in the breast can be reduced when not consuming caffeine.
  • Wearing a comfortable
    bra Wearing  a bra that can support the breasts comfortably can reduce the discomfort felt.
  • Consuming over-the-counter pain relievers
    Some types of pain relievers, such as  paracetamol , can relieve breast pain caused by cysts.

If the breast cyst does not go away, grows over time, and starts to disturb comfort, the doctor can recommend some of the treatment methods below:

Hormone therapy

Given the significant side effects, this method is only recommended for severe breast cysts. Examples of drugs used in hormone therapy are birth control pills or tamoxifen .

Fine needle aspiration

Taking cyst fluid with a fine needle is done to suck out all the fluid in the breast. However, this method may need to be done several times because the cyst can still grow back.


Cyst removal surgery is only performed if the breast cyst disappears and appears for months, the cyst fluid contains blood, or the lump shows characteristics that are feared to be malignant ( cancer ).

Complications of Breast Cysts

A doctor's examination is important because not all breast cysts are benign. This is because although rare, some cysts that grow can be symptoms of serious diseases, such as breast cancer . Breast cysts can also become infected by bacteria and turn into  breast abscesses .

Breast Cyst Prevention

Because the exact cause is not yet known, the way to prevent breast cysts is also not yet known. In addition to undergoing SADANIS as previously explained, every woman needs to do SADARI (self breast examination) to detect breast lumps as early as possible. SADARI is done on the 7th to 10th day after menstruation on the first day of each month.

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