Enquire now
Enquire NowCall Back Whatsapp Lab report/login
Understanding Breast Cysts: A Comprehensive Guide

Home > Blogs > Understanding Breast Cysts: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Breast Cysts: A Comprehensive Guide

Obstetrics and Gynaecology | by Dr. Syed Monajatur Rahman | Published on 02/04/2024


If you notice certain changes in the breast like tenderness, lump, swelling, etc. then you must book your appointment with one of the best healthcare experts at The Calcutta Medical Research Institute in Kolkata. It is because these signs indicate the presence of a condition called breast cysts. However, these are very common mainly among females, but it is vital to identify that they are benign to prevent complications risk and seek timely treatment. In this blog, we will discuss everything related to breast cysts in detail, so stick to the end. However, please note that this blog is for informative purposes only and we do not intend to overlook the doctor’s consultation in any way.

What is a Breast Cyst?

A fluid-filled sac that forms inside the breast tissue is called a breast cyst. These cysts feel smooth or round beneath the skin, and their sizes can vary. They commonly affect women between the ages of 30 and 60 and are usually benign. Hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle may have an impact on their formation, though the precise cause is unknown. Breast tenderness, soreness, or a palpable lump are possible symptoms. Unless they cause pain or discomfort, the majority of breast cysts do not need to be treated; in that case, they may need to be surgically removed or drained. Clinical evaluations and routine breast self-examinations can help with early detection and treatment.

What are the types of Breast Cysts?

The types of breast cysts differ in terms of size, shape, and composition including their management relies on certain factors like malignancy risk and symptoms. Frequent breast assessment and imaging studies assist in correct diagnosis and monitoring. Here are the types of breast cysts:

  • Simple cysts: They are smooth-edged, fluid-filled sacs.
  • Complex cysts: The fluid may contain debris or solid parts.
  • Microcysts: Microscopic cysts that are frequently observed in groups.
  • Oil cysts: Often resulting from trauma or injury to the breast tissue, oil cysts are formed from fat necrosis.
  • Galactoceles: These are milk-like fluid-filled cysts that frequently form during nursing.
  • Fibrocystic changes: Multiple cysts and fibrous tissue are caused by non-cancerous changes in the breast tissue.

What are the symptoms of a Breast Cyst?

It is vital to identify the symptoms of a breast cyst so that proper monitoring and diagnosis can be considered on time. Here are breast cyst symptoms one must know:

  • A smooth, movable lump in the breast tissue that is palpable.
  • Breast tenderness: A painful or uncomfortable area that frequently gets worse before menstruation.
  • Swelling: The breasts may feel fuller than normal or appear swollen.
  • Texture changes in the breast: The skin above the cyst may feel thicker or have a distinct feel.
  • Clear or hazy fluid may be discharged from the nipple, particularly in cases where the cyst is compressed.
  • Pain or discomfort during physical activity: Certain movements or activities may make pain or discomfort worse.

What causes Breast Cysts?

Although the precise cause of breast cysts is unknown, fluctuations in hormones are believed to be a major contributing factor. Cyst development may be triggered by changes in hormone levels, specifically those of progesterone and estrogen. Here are some of the possible causes of breast cysts:

  • Imbalances in hormones during the menstrual cycle

  • Hormone replacement treatment or specific drugs

  • Damage or wounds to the breast tissue

  • Breast tissue undergoing fibrocystic changes

  • Age, as women nearing menopause are more likely to develop cysts

  • Genetics or a history of breast disorders in the family

However, there is a chance that these factors will increase the development of breast cysts, each person's combination of these factors will affect the exact way the cyst forms.

How are Breast Cysts diagnosed?

Imaging studies and clinical examinations are used by healthcare experts to diagnose breast cysts:

  • Clinical breast exam: Medical professionals palpate the breast to check for anomalies or lumps.
  • Imaging tests: Ultrasounds and mammograms can be used to see inside the breast and spot cysts.
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA): Fluid is removed from the cyst for analysis using a thin needle.
  • Biopsy: A small tissue sample may be obtained for additional testing if the cyst looks suspicious or if the results of the FNA are unclear.
  • Monitoring: To monitor the cyst's evolution over time, routine imaging tests and follow-up examinations may be advised.

How are Breast Cysts treated?

Healthcare experts offer treatment options depending on the types, causes, and symptoms experienced by the patient. Here are some of the most common treatment options usually recommended to treat breast cysts: 

  • Observation: Cysts with no symptoms might not need to be treated, but they should still be routinely checked.
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA): By using a tiny needle to remove fluid from the cyst, discomfort can be reduced.
  • Hormonal therapy: In certain situations, hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills may help prevent the recurrence of cysts.
  • Larger or persistent cysts may need to be surgically removed, particularly if they are painful or a source of concern.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Wearing a supportive bra and cutting back on caffeine may help with symptoms.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter analgesics may be used to treat breast cyst discomfort.


Understanding breast cysts is essential for raising women's awareness of their health. These sacs filled with fluid are usually benign, but they can cause anxiety and discomfort. Early detection and management are assisted by routine self-examinations, clinical assessments, and imaging studies. Depending on the patient's needs and symptoms, treatment options differ from minimally invasive procedures or surgery to observation. Breast cysts can be effectively managed by arming oneself with information about breast health and seeking prompt medical attention as it offers comfort.

Faq - 


How are breast cysts dissolved?

Breast cysts can be removed by aspirating the fluid with a fine needle.

Is breast cyst painful?

Pain or discomfort can be experienced from breast cysts, particularly before menstruation.

Can breast cysts be cancerous?

Although a biopsy may be required to confirm, the majority of breast cysts are benign and not malignant.

Which doctor to consult for breast cyst?

For assessment and treatment of breast cysts, speak with a gynecologist or a breast specialist (breast surgeon or breast radiologist).