What causes a cyst in breast? Get insights reasons for a painful, sebaceous and complex cyst in your breast, symptoms, removal and treatment.

Cyst in Breast Causes

Cyst in breast causes

Cysts in breast

Each breast of a woman is made up of lobes of glandular tissue which are divided into small lobules that produce milk during pregnancy and breast-feeding.  Most cysts develop rapidly and then stay the same size.

The supporting tissues that give the breast its shape contain fatty tissue and fibrous connective tissue. Cysts are not harmful or dangerous, but they are sometimes uncomfortable or painful. Cyst in breast develops as a result of fluid accumulation inside the glands in the breasts.

The fluid in a cyst might be clear or colored (for example yellow, green, orange or black). This fluid is normal and it is not necessary to send it for testing. Breast cysts are divided into two, namely:

  • Microcysts are too small to be seen during mammography or ultrasound.
  • Macrocysts are large enough and can put pressure on nearby breast tissue causing breast pain or discomfort.

Breast cysts are common in women before menopause and can even occur in postmenopausal women taking hormone therapy especially women at the age of 35 years and 40 years. Cysts are not cancers since there is no evidence that cysts cause cancer.

The cyst in breast has the following symptoms:

  • Decrease in breast lump size and resolution.
  • Increase in breast lump size and breast tenderness.
  • Breast pain or tenderness in the area of the breast lump.
  • Nipple discharge that may be clear, yellow, straw colored or dark brown.
  • A smooth, easily movable round or oval lump with distinct edges.

The following are the main causes of cyst in breast:

  1. Benign breast lumps

There are numerous types of benign breast lump   and are usually are harmless and such that they may not necessarily require any treatment.

It is also known as fibrocystic breast disease. Fibroadenosis is used to describe a group of benign conditions that affect the breast and has the following symptoms:

  • Mastalgia or breast pain
  • increase in breast size
  • lumpiness of the breast

This disease can either affect either breast or one breast such that the pain and lumpiness will vary after every period. The symptoms can also vary significantly between women, with some women finding them slightly annoying and others finding them very painful.

It is a type of disease that usually affect young women especially those who are still breastfeeding. They mainly develop outside the milk ducts and are usually smooth and well-rounded solid lumps of tissue. They usually move easily within the breast since they are usually referred to as breast mice due to that aggressiveness in movement.

Fibroadenomas can disappear on their own, but they sometimes remain and grow larger, particularly during pregnancy. They may occur because of an abnormal response to the hormone oestrogen.

  1. Breast cysts.

They are fluid-filled sacs that grow within the breast tissue and can cause smooth, firm lumps to develop. Cyst in breast varies in size since there are some that are tiny while others can grow to several centimeters in diameter. Breast cysts do not have any symptoms while some may develop within the breast causing breast pain.

The hormones are thought to play a major role in the development of breast cysts because they are mostly common in pre-menopausal women and postmenopausal women having HRT.

  1. Breast abscesses

It is a painful collection of pus that forms inside the breast which later leads to high temperature (fever) and inflammation (redness and swelling) of the skin over the affected area.

They are usually caused by bacterial infection which usually enters the breast through small cracks or breaks in the skin of the nipple, which can sometimes develop during breastfeeding.

  1. Breast cancer

Development of a lump in one of the breasts can sometimes be a sign of breast cancer in women and breast cancer in men. Breast cancer can have the following symptoms:

  • Is clearly defined.
  • feels firm
  • doesn’t move around
  • persists after your period or develops after the menopause

Cyst in breast is one of the cancer disease that is uncontrollable and many researchers has come up with theory that suggests some women have a higher risk than others depending on the genes or other history from family of those people with breast cancer since it is the uncontrollable growth of malignant cells in the breasts.

The following are major symptoms which can assist individual to detect cyst in breast:

  1. Breast lumps or thickening

It is important for an individual to take self-examination to detect early changes that happens on the breast especially those women in periods and even those at menopause. A benign tumor or cyst can also cause lumpiness. Nonetheless, bring any unusual findings to your doctor’s attention. With one hand positioned on your hip, use your other hand to run your fingers over both sides of your breasts, and don’t forget to check underneath your armpits. If you feel a lump or thickness, it’s important to realize that some women have thicker breasts tissue than others and that if you have thicker breasts, you may notice lumpiness.

  1. Nipple discharge.

A yellow discharge from the nipples is common when someone is breast-feeding; therefore individuals are discouraged to ignore this symptom if they aren’t breast-feeding. Unusual discharge from the nipples can be a symptom of cyst in breast that can lead to breast cancer. This includes a clear discharge and bloody discharge thus such people are encourage to see a  doctor for further examination to determine whether breast cancer is causing the discharge.

  1. Changes in the size and shape of the breast

It is not usual for breasts to swell, and someone may notice such change in size around the time of menstrual cycle. Swelling can also lead to breast tenderness, and it may be slightly uncomfortable to wear a bra or lie down on stomach. This is perfectly normal and rarely indicative of cyst in breast.

  1. Inverted nipple

Sometimes appearance of the nipple can change when the cyst in breast develops and it is advisable for an individual who see such changes to seek medical attention.

  1. Peeling, scaling, or flaking skin.

This can make some people to be stressed and therefore, it is advisable not to be alarmed about it since it can be due to atopic dermatitis, eczema, or another skin condition.

  1. Skin rash on the breasts

It is usually associate with inflammatory breast cancer which is an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects the skin and lymph vessels of the breast resulting to growth of cyst in breast.

  1. Pitting breast skin

Development of rash may not be the only visual symptom of inflammatory breast cancer and this type of cancer also changes the appearance of the breasts. Sometimes, one may notice dimpling or pitting, and the skin on the breast may begin to look like an orange peel due to underlying inflammation.

Cyst in Breast Hurts

Cyst in breast hurts

Painful cyst in breast

Cysts in breast are fluid-filled bubbles that are similar to blisters in the breast tissue and they appear rapidly such that a small number shrink or continue to grow. Larger cysts can be felt in the breast tissue and they might be firm or soft causing some pain to an individual whether male or female.

Cysts are not harmful but they are sometimes painful such that they women find that their cyst(s) get tender or enlarged in the days before menstruation period. Since there are no proper researches that show cause cysts thus cysts are especially common in women between the ages of 45 and 50.

They often occur with menopause, when a woman’s hormones are changing rapidly, and go away when menopause has finished. Women who take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) often get breast cysts.

Cysts are not cancers and they are no more likely to become cancerous than any other part of the breast. There is no evidence that cysts cause cancer. Having a cancer in the same area as a cyst is a coincidence.

Majority of ladies have cysts that come back and are usually refill with fluid or they might be new cysts. Recurring cysts are not harmful but they are treated the same way as the first cyst.

The fluid found in the cysts are usually colorless or colored and are not dangerous hence not necessary for testing.

Medical specialist uses Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) to drain out the fluid. FNA can be uncomfortable but usually is not painful.

Therefore, most women are encouraged to seek medication in case they feel uncomfortable on their breast or in case of any changes on the breast.

Cyst in Breast Pain

During pregnancy, women experience changes in breast due to tenderness of the nipple and breast along with an increase in breast size. This is due to increased levels of the hormone progesterone and the development of the milk ducts.

The Montgomery glands that sit on the areola get bigger and can become more noticeable such that a woman can feel uncomfortable and experience some pain which might be like that of cyst.

Breast lumps sometimes occur during pregnancy. The most common ones are cysts (fluid-filled sacs), galactoceles which are milk-filled cysts and fibroadenomas which develop in the lobules of the breast. These are benign breast conditions which are not cancerous.

The vast majority of lumps in pregnancy will be benign as breast cancer in women of child-bearing age is rare and even uncommon during pregnancy.

Most women experience few tiny cysts that are more common than freckles but they do enlarge gradually into big cysts to become a palpable breast lump.it also necessary to note that the breast cysts are a benign lesion and do not lead to breast cancer and do not increase the risk of cancer.

The fluid in a breast cyst is not milk, but usually a clear yellow fluid, the same fluid which most of the liquid matter of the body is composed of. If the ‘wall’ of a complex cystic breast mass is getting thicker, there may be additional issues associated with cyst pain on the breast.

The vast majority of complex breast cysts turn out to be benign that eventually show as developing due to malignant breast cancer.

Sebaceous Cyst in Breast

Sebaceous cysts in breast are caused by a blockage of the sebaceous glands that secrete sebum which nourishes the hair and skin.it is an epidermal cyst that forms as a collection of keratin-like material which will have a small opening to the skin, but which may not be easily visible when examine through ultrasound.

When a sebaceous breast cyst is infected it will swollen and red be quite painful. They are usually first evaluated with antibiotics to reduce the inflammation and then surgically excised. When removed surgically, it is important to remove the entire cyst wall, or there is a high likelihood of recurrence.

Epidermoid cysts are always unilocular and they occur on the breast, but can be a serious concern if they are found near brain and central nervous system (CNS) elements. Sebaceous breast cysts are a rare occurrence, but if you do have a small lump on the breast, it is best that you get it checked by a doctor as soon as possible, because it may be a more dangerous sign of cancer.

Primrose oil is a fatty acid (linoleic acid) supplement that’s available over-the-counter. Some small research suggests that evening primrose oil may relive menstrual cycle breast pain, sometimes associated with breast cysts.

But more research is needed as studies have been small and uncontrolled, and the evidence isn’t conclusive. Although the exact mechanism isn’t clear, some experts believe that women deficient in linoleic acid are more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, resulting in breast pain.

Sebaceous cyst in breast has the following Potential complications:

  • Inflammation- An inflamed cyst is difficult to remove since an epidermoid cyst can become tender and swollen.
  • Rupture-a ruptured cyst often leads to a boil-like infection that requires prompt treatment.
  • Infection- Cysts can become infected and painful.
  • Genital discomfort- Genital epidermoid cysts can lead to painful intercourse and urination.
  • Skin cancer- epidermoid cysts can lead to skin cancer.

Complex Cyst in Breast

Big cyst in breast

Complex cyst in breast

Breast cysts can be simple, complicated, or complex. They are usually referred to as solid and cystic mass. A complex cyst (solid and cystic mass) does contain thick walls, thick septa, or other discrete solid-appearing component.

In case when there are thicker part of the walls like when a breast cyst might begin to be referred to as a ‘complicated ‘cyst, and these are majorly, but not always benign. A ‘complicated’ cyst will actually be drained by fine needle aspiration under local anesthetic and probably with a shorter term follow-up.

Complex cyst usually contain solid elements suspended within the fluid has feature segmentation (septation) and some regions of the cyst wall that are ‘thicker ‘than others.

The particles are floating in the cystic fluid and, and the cysts is extremely likely to be completely benign. It could be floating cholesteral crystals, blood, pus, or milk of calcium crystals. The decision to seek biopsy, or aspirate, or simply follow up with observation would be somewhat subjective in this instance.

The appearance of complex cysts and actual malignancy development, when it rarely occurs, can be a little bit irrational. The presence of an intracystic mass probable neoplasm does not statistically correlate with higher risk of malignancy.

But a thick cystic wall, lobulation irregular lobule shapes in the wall, and hyperechogenecity many internal echoes, particularly when occurring in combination, may be associated with higher risk of underlying malignancy.

Different cells may release different proteins and other chemicals, and that can give clues as to various cell growths and patterns that may be developing. A lobulated solid nodule has different significance altogether and  a solid nodule that bulges in a way that isn’t a perfect sphere, can indicate that some internal parts of the nodule are growing faster than other parts, which is a mild clue the solid nodule might be cancer.

Cyst in Breast Ultrasound

Complicated cysts are well defined since it contains some low level internal echo texture or intra-cystic debris which the homogeneous internal echoes within some complicated cysts may produce an appearance similar to that of a circumscribed solid mass.

A complex cyst also known as solid and cystic mass does contain thick walls, thick septa, or other discrete solid-appearing component.

The chances of malignancy among complicated breast cysts are researched to be 2% and therefore it is often important that these cysts can often to be managed with short-interval follow-up imaging or aspiration.

It is necessary to distinguish a complicated breast cyst from a solid and cystic, cystic breast mass, or an intracystic carcinoma of the breast, which will need biopsy.

The use of ultrasound machines as made it easier to identify growth of cyst since It is possible that a cyst could be caused by swelling and lead to inflammatory breast cancer because of an infection, but this would tend to have other obvious clinical symptoms of pain, redness, discharges and would typically be a problem for pregnant and breast feeding women.

Sonograms are very significant at differentiating between solid and liquid elements that are a ‘simple breast cyst’, which has a homogeneous oval shape, with thin smooth walls, and a homogeneous fluid filling, would be clearly evident.

An experienced specialist can, with the benefit of ultrasound, get a pretty clear image of the benign nature of a breast cyst.

Under ultrasound, there are no standard features of a complex breast cyst. They are a heterogeneous class of lesions with different appearance.

On ultrasound a complex breast cyst will basically be treated in terms of internal echoes, presence or absence of posterior enhancement, thin septations, and a thickened or irregular wall. But the results of the ultrasound can influence the strategy for follow-up evaluation or treatment.

Cyst in Breast Removal

A breast cyst is an accumulation of fluid within the breast which might result into breast lump that can make an individual feel uncomfortable.it is essential to consult a specialist in the health care provider in case there is appearance of lumps on the breast as result of cyst as soon as possible.

To minimize discomfort associated with breast cysts, the following are home remedies or measures that should be put in practices:

  1. Wear a well-fitted, supportive bra
  2. Breast cyst makes the breast to be painful and if one wishes to relieve the pain, they should support it using the best bra from a reputable manufacturer.
  3. Apply a compress.
  4. Applying an ice pack can to relieve pain in case cysts are painful.
  5. Avoid caffeine
  6. It is also important to get rid of excess caffeine in the diet to see if the symptoms will improve.
  7. Reduce salt in your diet.
  8. Research shows that salt restriction and cyst formation helps in reducing formation of cyst in the breast. Taking less sodium reduces the amount of excess fluid retained by the body, which in turn assist to relieve symptoms associated with a fluid-filled breast cyst.
  9. Consider trying over-the-counter pain medications if your doctor recommends them.
  10. Some types of breast pain may be reduced by the use of acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
  11. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc. which belong to the cruciferous group of vegetables are known to contain natural estrogen that can help in alleviating the pain and tenderness in the breasts.
  12. Vitamins like vitamin E and A have shown to reduce breast cysts in women if taken in the right quantities
  13. Breast cysts are sometimes relieved through the intake of birth control pills in case of women.
  14. OTC pain relievers can be used to control the pain to a certain extent but we are encourage to make sure not make this a habit to avoid side effects in body.
  15. Massage the affected breast with ginger oil. Then follow up with a hot compress to reduce lumps and pain.
  16. Studies have indicated that essential fatty acids may be helpful in alleviating symptoms of fibrocystic breast changes. Primrose oil is a good source of linolenic, an essential fatty acid. However it is important to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
  17. Vitamin E is known to be beneficial in alleviating breast pain and tenderness. It may also help to reduce the size of breast lumps. You can obtain this vitamin from nuts, leafy green vegetables, fortified cereals and vegetable oils. You can also consult your doctor regarding the intake of vitamin E supplements.
  18. Warm compresses are vital for reducing swelling and pain in the breasts by dipping a face towel in hot water and place over the affected breast for a few minutes.
  19. Avoid smoking as this can worsen pain and tenderness in the breasts.
  20. Practice regular exercise and follow a low-fat diet. This will help to maintain ideal body weight. Excess fat leads to an increase in estrogen levels and this can trigger changes in the breasts.

Cyst in Breast Pictures

Multiple cyst in breast

Cyst in breast picture

Cyst in breast is a type of breast cancer is the uncontrollable growth of malignant cells in the breasts and is the most common cancer in women and even in men.

The research has been undertaken such that there is no exact cause of breast cancer but some women have a higher risk than others since it depends on women with a personal or family history of breast cancer and women with certain gene mutations..

Results are best when breast cancer is diagnosed and treated early and is important to examine the breasts regularly and schedule regular mammograms starting at age 45.

Women who are at a higher risk should begin mammograms at age 40. Therefore, seeking medical attention which breast cancer screening schedule would be best.

Major symptoms are the following:

  1. Breast lumps or thickening

It is important for an individual to take self-examination to detect early changes that happens on the breast especially those women in periods and even those at menopause. A benign tumor or cyst can also cause lumpiness.

Nonetheless, bring any unusual findings to your doctor’s attention. With one hand positioned on your hip, use your other hand to run your fingers over both sides of your breasts, and don’t forget to check underneath your armpits. If you feel a lump or thickness, it’s important to realize that some women have thicker breasts tissue than others and that if you have thicker breasts, you may notice lumpiness.

  1. Nipple discharge.

A yellow discharge from the nipples is common when someone is breast-feeding; therefore individuals are discouraged to ignore this symptom if they aren’t breast-feeding. Unusual discharge from the nipples can be a symptom of cyst in breast that can lead to breast cancer.

This includes a clear discharge and bloody discharge thus such people are encourage to see a  doctor for further examination to determine whether breast cancer is causing the discharge.

  1. Changes in the size and shape of the breast

It is not usual for breasts to swell, and someone may notice such change in size around the time of menstrual cycle. Swelling can also lead to breast tenderness, and it may be slightly uncomfortable to wear a bra or lie down on stomach. This is perfectly normal and rarely indicative of cyst in breast.

  1. Inverted nipple

Sometimes appearance of the nipple can change when the cyst in breast develops and it is advisable for an individual who see such changes to seek medical attention.

  1. Peeling, scaling, or flaking skin

This can make some people to be stressed and therefore, it is advisable not to be alarmed about it since it can be due to atopic dermatitis, eczema, or another skin condition.

  1. Skin rash on the breasts

It is usually associated with inflammatory breast cancer which is an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects the skin and lymph vessels of the breast resulting to growth of cyst in breast.

  1. Pitting breast skin

Development of rash may not be the only visual symptom of inflammatory breast cancer and this type of cancer also changes the appearance of the breasts. Sometimes, one may notice dimpling or pitting, and the skin on the breast may begin to look like an orange peel due to underlying inflammation.

You May Also Like:

  1. Rash under Breast, Itchy, Red, Heat, Cancer, Pictures, Causes, Treatment
  2. Boobs Feel Sore, Breasts, Before Period, after, not Pregnant, Tenderness, Pain, Menopause, Causes, Treatment
  3. Bumps on Breast, Red, White, Looks like Pimple, Hurts, under, Causes, Pregnancy, Normal, get Rid
  4. Red Spots on Breast, Chest, Pictures, Small, Itchy, Brown, Pink, Dark, on Skin, Under, no Lump, Pain, Causes, Get Rid
  5. Itchy breasts, Pregnancy Symptoms, Yeast Infection, Breastfeeding, Rash, Boobs, Causes, Get Rid
  6. Bumps on Nipples, White, Causes, Spots, Infected, Itchy, Small, Big, Pregnant, Get Rid, Treatment

Further Referenecs;

  1. Complex breast cyst:
  2. Home Remedies for Fibrocystic Breast Disease:
  3. Breast cysts :
  4. Fibrocystic Breast :
  5. Breast cysts :