Recurring Breast Cysts

In 2006 I found a small breast lump which turned out to be a cyst and had it drained off by fine needle aspiration.
Then 6 months ago, Sept 2008, I found another lump which grew very fast over a week or so and was fast-tracked back to the breast clinic. It turned out to be another cyst with borderline appearance, again it was drained off and the test results came back as a benign lesion, I assume that means the same as cyst.

A few weeks ago I found another lump and on examination last week my GP found what she is not sure a second lump or an extension of the lump that I found and is going into my armpit. This time I get pain whereas the last 2 I did not. The pain is in my breast and in my armpit. I know it’s 99% definitely cyst(s) again but I don’t understand why I keep getting them and it’s always in the same breast. I have a friend who is in her 30’s currently on treatment for breast cancer and I know it can happen to anyone at any age. Is or has anyone else experienced these recurring lumps and any idea why it happens and if it puts us at any higher risk of BC?

Thank you.

Hi SueEllen,

I have put for you below the link to BCC’s publication regarding breast cysts, I hope it is useful.

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

Hi SueEllen,

I can sympathise with you, they are a nuisance.
I have had at least 18 ordinary cysts(stopped counting then) aspirated and even from the age of 30 until I was 51 when they seemed to stop.
Then I was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 when I was 59 had all my treatment and then three appeared together a couple of months after my rads were completed. I even have some small ones in my other breast now. I had assumed once through the menopause they would cease!
I can normally tell quite easily they are cysts, as they are mobile and rubbery to feel, they don’t cause me any concern at all.
I do get them checked though and drained if necessary.
Sometimes they become painful which sometimes happens usually because of their size in my case.

Some people appear to have a disposition to them and I am one of them.
Good luck.

My experience is very similar to gilly’s.I had my first breast cysts after the birth of my 2nd child when I was 30.From then on I had several every year,one developed an abcess after aspiration and one collapsed into a hard irregular lump which was surgically removed.I had yearly visits to a breast clinic for 30years.Then when I was 62 I was dx with bc.A year later I had another small cyst which was aspirated.The worry will never go away but they dont always lead to bc.

I found my first breast lump at the age of 16 and went quite a long period of time before finding my next at the age of 30. I had several lumps which would keep popping there head up in both breasts. Mostly they were aspirated whith one begin surgically removed as it was a fibroadenoma (hard solid lump) I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2007 at the age of 39. I opted to have a bilateral mastectomy so i shouldn’t get anymore breast lumps… Still keep checking though. Old habbits die hard i suppose…

I got my first breast cyst when I was 35 then had 2 more over a period of 11 years (all put down to ‘hormones’). I had them all checked out at the breast clinic and had 2 of them aspirated.

Twelve months ago I felt another cyst but was also getting some pain from it down to my nipple. Routine referral to the breast clinic again and yes, it was another cyst but the ultrasound also showed up an unsuspected cancer in the same breast but in a different location to the cyst.

Had lumpectomy for the cancer, but the cyst is still there. The hospital said there wasn’t a link between cysts and bc - just said it was ‘bad luck’. (Although I am ER/PR++++ - coincidence perhaps???)

So in an odd way, I’m glad I had cysts as it made me more ‘breast aware’ and I’m glad I had it checked out last year. I still check myself and as karenr said, old habits die hard.