Several months ago I found a lump in my breast. I had a mammogram and an ultrasound done. They revealed a simple cyst. My doctor called me with the results and stated that they usually leave simple cysts unless they become symptomatic. A week ago I saw my doctor for my annual exam and she referred me to a breast specialist to have the cyst aspirated. When I asked why she said that she can not feel behind it to do a breast exam and because my breasts are "lumpy". I am filled with fear and anxiety. I don't understand the change in philosophy. The cyst is quite large (size of a ping pong ball). All I think of is that maybe she feels it is not a benign cyst. I called the office later for clarification and I was told that nothing on radiology reports indicates suspicion for cancer and that the doctor wants it aspirated as a precaution. She said that this is what needs to be done for a palpable lump.My appointment with the surgeon is a month away. Are simple cysts usually that big? Is aspiration a normal procedure for cysts without suspicion? Thanks so much. Your website is very informative.
Dear gmurph: Cysts are, by definition, benign. They can vary from being quite small to very large. In general, there is no reason to aspirate them unless they are causing pain or discomfort or if you are just uncomfortable with it being there. As there is nothing on the mammogram or ultrasound that suggests anything other than a simple cyst, there is no reason to think differently. When you see the surgeon, you can discuss this further. If you are not comfortable, you might consider a second opinion from a breast specialist. These experts can usually be located at large academic medical centers.
just want to tell that person that i too was a wreck about a breast cyst that they said was not concerning and it was nothing after all. i know its scary to feel this but they usually can tell by the way it feels. after 6 months i chose to have it surgeically removed because i was a worry wart and i'm glad i made that choice so as to find some peace. if it bothers you, get it removed!! good luck
I am not an expert, but I really don't think you have anything to worry about. Last January I was scratching my breast because it itched and I thought I felt a lump. I had just had my yearly and the doctor said at that time she didn't remember feeling a lump so she told me to come in. When I went in, she felt my breast and said yes she felt a lump and wanted me to go to ultrasound to have it checked to make sure. When I went to ultrasound they said that I had 3 simple cysts and that it was no big deal because Simple Cysts come and go with your cycle, but then while looking she said there was another area not close to the 1st area that didn't look right it wasn't perfectly round and had a jagged edge. In my doctors office it is pretty routine to get a cyst aspired just to make sure. They aspired the 3 simple cysts and fluid came out and they collapsed so they said those were ok. But the other cyst when they tried to aspire it, nothing came out, it was thick and solid, so when the biopsy came back unfortunately it was breast cancer.
So what I'm getting at is I think its great that they said it was a simple cysts on the ultrasound. My doctors have always said simple cysts are benign. I am also very lumpy. I think it's great that your doctor is being proactive in aspiring the cyst. It's best to be safe then sorry later.
Your doctor is just being careful. You cannot tell if something is cancer by just feeling it. If the radiology report also states that it is not suspicious of cancer that is very encouraging. I have read in these forums that some women do get big cysts and they hurt so they just have them aspired and thats the end of that. My breasts were always very tender before my period and I was always told I had cystic breasts. Sometimes when you are lumpy the doctors also just want to be double sure they don't miss anything. On me since they did find breast cancer, they did aspire a few cysts in both breast and all came back benign and these were simple cysts.
I was very fortunate that they found my cancer. It was very small .5mm and was hiding behind a cyst. I had no lymph involvement so lumpectomy and radiation and now on Tamoxifen. I was one of the lucky ones (if you want to call it that) that was diagnosed early. Try not to worry and let us know.
By the way, my cancer did not ever appear on the mammogram. Could be because it was so small, so I really believe in also doing an ultrasaound especially if you have dense breasts. If I hadn't had the ultrasound done they would not have found my lump this year and who knows how many years would have passed before finding it. This saved me from it spreading to my lymph nodes and saved me from having to do Chemo. My prayers are with you.
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