Any fluid filled sac within the breasts are the breast cysts. These cysts can feel like a lump, but actually this lump (cyst) is a small, harmless fluid-filled sac, not any cancerous lump of cells. One breast can have one cyst or many cysts that clump together. These are usually oval or round shape lumps with clear edges that may appear like water filled balloons or grapes, but in some cases breast cyst feels firm. They may develop naturally in the breasts with the age, because hormonal changes occurs in the body as the body gets old and causes changes in the breasts. Although it can develop at any age, but are most common in women at the age of 35 or more, because menopause occurs in this age which disturbs the hormones alot. After menopause these cysts may disappear, but if hormone therapy is done then they can reappear.
Breast cyst vary in size. It can range from a few millimeters to several centimeters. Many women can have cysts, but may not be able to feel them. Sometimes they can be uncomfortable and painful that need proper treatment. The pain is usually worse during pregnancy or in the second half of menstrual cycle. This discomfort may be alleviated by draining the fluid from the cyst.
Some signs and symptoms of breast cysts are as follows:
- Easily movable, smooth, round or oval lump with clear edges.
- Pain and tenderness in the cyst area.
- Clear , yellow or dark brown nipple discharge.
- During period the lump size increases and decreases as the period ends.
Breast cysts are detected by help of mammograms (breast x-ray). However, physical examinations also play an important role in the diagnosis. But mammogram provides valuable and clear image of breast tissue. Breast cysts does not increase any risk of developing cancer and are mostly benign.