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Doctor insights on: Difference Between Breast Cancer And Cysts

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,330 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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How to know it is cyst or breast cancer?

How to know it is cyst or breast cancer?

See your physician: Who will take a history, do a physical exam and possibly order tests such as mammogram or ultrasound.

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Is it possibility that I'm developing breast cancer since my dr. Said I have cystic breasts?

Is it possibility that I'm developing breast cancer since my dr. Said I have cystic breasts?

Fibrocystic: Breasts don't predispose to breast cancer. However, they can make the diagnosis more difficult because of the complexity of the breast tissue on mammography. Ultrasound of "lumps" will either show cysts or unremarkable glandular tissue. Sometimes MRI is used when there is a question. Also, biopsy may also be required if a palpable lump is clinically suspicious even when all other tests are normal.

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I feel lumps in my breast should I be worried about breast cancer or cyst?

I feel lumps in my breast should I be worried about breast cancer or cyst?

Lumpy breasts: Ask your doctor to check them for you or refer you to a general surgeon who can provide expert help with that issue.

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Is it possible cyst in the breast turn into breast cancer? What causes cyst in the breast? Is the breast cyst dangerous? Thank you

Depends: There are many types of cysts. Simple cysts rarely if ever are cancer. Complex cysts can be more dangerous. If you have a cyst, be sure to follow up with your doctor. They may want to do a needle aspiration and sample the fluid. Hope this helps!

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Can breast cancer cause breast cysts to develop? I know it's rare for cancer in a cyst, but can a tumor be the cause of a simple cyst?

Can breast cancer cause breast cysts to develop? I know it's rare for cancer in a cyst, but can a tumor be the cause of a simple cyst?

It's possible: A breast cancer may exist in a cyst if there is a mass in the cyst or in the wall of the cyst. A simple cyst is unlikely to be cancerous. Usually cancerous cysts are complex and may have separations within it. In any event either removal, aspiration with follow up, or repeat imaging my be needed to ensure the cyst is not cancerous.

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I'm 25 years old. I just discovered I have a septated cyst sized 9*4 mm in breast. My grandmother and aunt just got breast cancer. What's your advice?

I'm 25 years old. I just discovered I have a septated cyst sized 9*4 mm in breast. My grandmother and aunt just got breast cancer. What's your advice?

It depends.: If the septation is thin, then the chance of malignancy is near zero. If the septation is thick, irregular, or vascular, then the lesion is more suspicious and biopsy may be necessary. So more information about the septated cyst is needed.

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What distinguishes a cyst from a breast cancer lump?

What distinguishes a cyst from a breast cancer lump?

Mammography: Ultrasound and needle biopsy are ways of telling whether the mass is solid or cystic, benign or malignant. In some cases, MRI might be helpful. Consult your surgeon if you have a breast mass. Although unlikely, every lump is abnormal and could be cancer.

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How common are breast cyst and could a 20 year old get breast cancer?

How common are breast cyst and could a 20 year old get breast cancer?

Common, possible: Breast cysts are fairly common and many women experience it during their life time. Cyst are generally benign, especially if they are designated as simple cysts. As far as breast cancer at age 20, it is rare but not impossible. If there is any question about an abnormal breast finding or symptom, it would be best to check with a breast care professional for appropriate work-up.

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Pain&cyst in rt hip also had breast cancer is this anything to woot about?

Pain&cyst in rt hip also had breast cancer is this anything to woot about?

Probably not, but: Should be checked by your doctor. If it really is a cyst, it is unlikely to be anything serious. However, anyone with a history of cancer should have small things checked because sometimes cancer recurrence can present with minor symptoms. See your doctor to give yourself peace of mind and proper evaluation if necessary.

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Cyst in breast does that correlate with possibility of a tumor? My mom had breast cancer 1st person in the family to ever have it.

Cyst in breast does that correlate with possibility of a tumor? My mom had breast cancer 1st person in the family to ever have it.

No - cysts are OK: Cysts in the breast are fluid balls that are not cancerous. They also do not increase your risk for cancer later. They are from fibrocystic changes (hormonal and glandular) in the breast that occur in some women. If the cyst is large or painful it can be drained, otherwise typically nothing is done. Your cancer risk is increased because of your mom, so you may need to begin mammograms early.

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How to do a breast self exam? What do you look for? What does a breast cancer cyst feel like? How big or small is it? Also, is it painful?

How to do a breast self exam? What do you look for? What does a breast cancer cyst feel like? How big or small is it? Also, is it painful?

Learn your lumps: The most important thing in breast self exam is to learn what is a normal lump for you. Breasts are naturally lumpy but have a pattern. Anything that does not feel like your normal tissue, should be evaluated by your doctor.

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History of early stage breast cancer have septated ovarian cyst?

History of early stage breast cancer have septated ovarian cyst?

Need more details: I highly recommend you consult your oncology team and get evaluated by a gynecology oncologist. Since you are <50, it makes me concerned about a brca mutations (if you have not been tested, then get tested!). Ovarian cancer and breast cancer can be related, especially if brca is positive. If you have a estrogen positive tumor, then stopping the ovaries from making hormone may be beneficial.

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What causes recurring hemorrhagic/proteinaceous breast cysts and do they increase the risk of breast cancer? My mom and material aunt have breast CA

What causes recurring hemorrhagic/proteinaceous breast cysts and do they increase the risk of breast cancer? My mom and material aunt have breast CA

Not common: At 49 y.o. cyst are not uncommon but most are clear with serous fluid, just enough to keep ducts open. Hemorrhagic cysts not that common and one must ascertain they are not developing into cytst lesions. Cytology of bloody fluid might be valuable along with MRI of breast if mammo neg. BRACA should also be tested to see if genetic changes familial.

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Scans showed cysts in breast and focal fibrocystic change. Is fibrocystic change linked to breast cancer in anyway? Breasts aren't painful or tender.

Scans showed cysts in breast and focal fibrocystic change. Is fibrocystic change linked to breast cancer in anyway? Breasts aren't painful or tender.

NO: Fibrocystic breasts as they are now called (not F.C.disease, bc it is not a dse)occur in 50% of women betweenages 25 % 50. Thet are not precancerous unless something called "atypia"shows under the microscope. However, if any new "lump"is felt you need to get checked by your doctor. Hope this answers your question.

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I'm 30 years old, have never had children. My mam had breast cancer when she was 44 I've got 27cm septated cyst in ovary & have typical ov/ca symptoms?

I'm 30 years old, have never had children. My mam had breast cancer when she was 44 I've got 27cm septated cyst in ovary & have typical ov/ca symptoms?

You need surgery...: Your family history, symptoms and size of ovarian cyst are worrisome. You need surgery to remove it. If your Ob/Gyn is worried about cancer, he/she may recommend that your surgery be done by a Gyn Oncologist (a specialist in female cancers) but this isn't always necessary. Ob/Gyns are trained to make this decision. Best wishes.

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Nursing and had breast ultrasound. Tech saw either a small cyst or a duct but either way it was fine. Does this increase my risk breast cancer?

Nursing and had breast ultrasound. Tech saw either a small cyst or a duct but either way it was fine. Does this increase my risk breast cancer?

No: Doing a breast exam (ultrasound) on a lactating mother producing milk will usually show enlarged milk ducts some containing milk or fluid. This does not predispose a person to breast cancer.

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Dr. Barry Rosen
1,373 Doctors shared insights

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more


Cyst (Definition)

A cyst is a structure or mass that consists of a cellular lined sac. It is typically filled with fluid but may be filled with solid material. It can be congenital, traumatic, or acquired. They may develop nearly anywhere in the body and usually require complete excision for eradication or they are likely to recur. Fluid filled sacs that are not cellular lined ...Read more