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Breast cysts – symptoms, causes and other risk factors

When you have sacs inside of your breast and they are filled with fluid, then you have breast cysts. They are usually not cancerous cysts. In some cases women can have just one breast cyst while in other cases women are having many breast cysts in their breasts. There are some cases when patients are suffering from breast cysts just in one breast and also there are some cases when patients are suffering from cysts in the both breasts. When you are questioning yourself about what is the definition of the breast cysts, and then the most used definition about this disease is that they are oval or round lumps which are having distinct edges. In the most cases this disease is having a feeling like water – filled balloon. Also there are some cases when people who are suffering from breast cysts are feeling like firm in their breasts. In the most cases when people are suffering from breast cysts, they are not having a need of medical treatment. But if your cyst is uncomfortable, large and painful, then you should visit your doctor. In this case you will need to have a medical treatment. If this is your case, then your doctor or other medical person will drain the fluid from the cysts which will make your symptoms easier. This kind of disease is affecting women between 35 and 50 years when they are in their menopause. [1,2] But this does not mean that women who are not in these years cannot suffer from breast cysts. This disease can happen in women from all ages. Also when women are taking hormone therapy when they are in their postmenopausal period, they are also having increased chances of getting breast cysts.

Symptoms of breast cysts

When people are suffering from this disease, then they can have breast cyst just in one breast or they can have breast cyst in the both breasts. Here are some signs and symptoms of this disease:

  • In the area in which you have breast lump, you are feeling pain and tenderness
  • The nipple discharge can be dark brown, straw colored, yellow or clear
  • When you are suffering from breast cyst, then you are feeling changes in the resolution of the breast lump and breast lump size is decreased after it has passed some period from the first moment when you started to feel these symptoms
  • When you have a lump with distinct edges and which is easily moved round and also it is smooth. When you are having this symptom, then in the most cases this is indicator that you have benign lump. If you have noticed this symptom, then you should visit your doctor.

Breast cysts

Causes of Breast cysts

When people are suffering from breast cysts not in all cases this will be an indicator for breast cancer [3]. But when you are suffering from breast cysts, then when you are visiting your doctor, he or she will have difficulties in finding the real cause for your condition. You should know all the symptoms about your condition. As you visit your doctor in the first period of your disease, you are having bigger chances to get the right medical treatment for your condition. When people are not suffering from this condition, then their breast tissues are nodular or lumpy. But if you have noticed that your breast lumps are not going by its own after your menstrual period is done or you have noticed that your breast cysts are increasing in their size, then you must visit your doctor. He or she will tell you which is the real cause for your condition and will give you the right medical treatment.

Your breasts are having lobes of glandular tissue. They are arranged in your breasts like petals of the daisy (which is a herb) [4]. When women are pregnant, then these lobes are divided in small lobules which mean that women are producing milk which is used for breast feeding of their newborns. The fibrous connective tissue and fatty tissues are the both elements which are giving the shape of the breasts. When fluid is accumulated in the glands of the breasts, then they are causing this disease which is known as breast cyst. Also there are other causes of this disease such as macrocysts (when they are large in size; they are growing about one to two inches; they are reason for discomfort and pain in your breasts) and microcysts (which cannot be seen by eye; they can be seen through ultrasound and mammography). [5]


[1] Gaowa S, Sun AJ, Jiang Y, et al. Ultrasonographic observation of the breast in early postmenopausal women during therapy with cimicifuga foetida extract and sequential therapy with estrogen and progestin. Chinese Medicine Journal. 2015;128(8):1000–4.

[2] Thielking M. Hormone therapy during menopause raises breast cancer risk for years. Scientific American. 2019. Retrieved from

[3] American Cancer Society. What is breast cancer? 2019. Retrieved from

[4] St. Clair Hospital. Breast cysts. 2018. Retrieved from

[5] Berg WA, Sechtin AG, Marques H, Zhang Z. Cystic breast masses and the ACRIN 6666 experience. Radiologic Clinics of North America. 2010;48(5):931–87.

Hanan Marshal
Hanan Marshal
Hanan, a medical student (MBBS) having passion for writing and is very much interested in holistic living along with nature. He is very much interested in doing community service and watches anime and play PS4 during his free time. You can reach him through [email protected]


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