(Benign Breast Masses; Breast Cysts; Cystic Disease; Chronic Cystic Mastitis; Mammary Dysplasia)
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- Multiple lumps (cysts) will occur in both breasts that cycle with menstrual periods.
- Cysts may produce no symptoms or cause pain and tenderness.
- A fibrocystic lump may be difficult to tell apart from a cancerous mass. But, its rapid disappearance with menses and reappearance in the next menstrual cycle help to distinguish this condition from breast cancer.
- Are you uncomfortable?
- Do you have breast cancer?
- Mammogram (x-ray of the breasts)—mammograms alone cannot distinguish between a benign cyst and cancer (a lump that does not show significant monthly changes must be evaluated by other tests, such as aspiration)
- Needle aspiration of a lump (if the fluid is removed, the cyst usually resolves)
- Excisional biopsy of a suspicious area
- A fine needle biopsy is nearly identical to an aspiration. The only difference is that a tiny piece of tissue is also drawn out of the lump.
- An excisional biopsy removes the entire lump through a surgical incision. This can be done with local anesthesia if the lump is small and superficial.
- Age 40-49—recommendations vary from waiting until age 50 to having the screening every 1-2 years
- Age 50-74—ranges from every year to every two years
Clinical breast exam:
- Age 20-39—ranges from every year to every three years
- Age 40 and older—every year
- Age 20 and older—Optional; talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
Womens Health.gov http://www.womenshealth.gov
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation http://www.cbcf.org
Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Diabetes and pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/publications/patient%5Feducation/bp051.cfm. Accessed July 2010.
Berkow R, Beers M, et al. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. New York, NY: Pocket Books; 1999.
Breast cancer screening: research and guidelines. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated November 2009. Accessed January 19, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Fibrocystic breast disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated July 20, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2010.
Fibrocystic breasts. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibrocystic-breast-changes/AN00715. Updated December 2007. Accessed July 27, 2009.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -