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What are breast cysts?

What are breast cysts?

Breast cysts are fluid filled sacs within one's breast which are usually not cancerous. These are often described as oval or round lumps with discrete edges. A woman may have one or many breast cysts. The exact cause of breast cysts remains unknown. There is evidence that suggests that having excess estrogen in the body can stimulate the breast tissue and this may play a role in breast cyst development.

The signs and symptoms of breast cysts include:

• It is usually found in one breast but it can also affect both breasts at one time
• Breast tenderness or pain in the area of the breast lump
• An easily movable round or oval breast lump with divergent edges

Having a single or many breast cysts won't decrease one's risk of breast cancer. However, breast cysts may interfere with one's ability to detect new breast lumps or any other abnormal change that might need evaluation.

To reduce discomfort associated with breast cysts, consider these measures:

• It's important to wear well fitted innerwear surrounding the breast tissue to help relieve discomfort
• Studies suggest that consuming less sodium reduces the amount of excess fluid retained by the body which in turn may help alleviate symptoms linked with a fluid filled breast cyst
• Eliminating caffeine from the diet may help some women find relief from their symptoms

If you detect the presence of any new breast lumps that don't seem to go away after a menstrual period or a previously evaluated lump has grown or changed, contact your doctor right away!

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