Breast cancer

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Breast cysts

Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs in the breast tissue. They are the most common non-cancerous (benign) breast lumps in women between the ages of 35 and 50. Breast cysts are rarely cancerous, and they do not increase your risk for developing breast cancer.

You can have one or many cysts in your breast. The most common symptom of a breast cyst is a lump that feels smooth and soft. It moves very easily within the breast tissue. Cysts may change with your menstrual cycle. They can become large and tender just before your period and get smaller and less tender after it has finished. Some breast cysts are very small and can’t be felt.

Most breast cysts go away without any treatment. If a cyst is very large or doesn’t go away on its own, doctors may offer to treat it. They may use a fine needle aspiration (FNA) to remove fluid from the cyst. They may do surgery to remove a cyst if there is blood in the fluid from the FNA or if the cyst comes back after the FNA. Doctors may also surgically remove cysts that are very large and painful.

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Dr Shawn Li I’m extremely grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for funding my research with an Innovation Grant.

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