Small existing complex breast cyst grew large and painful!

Last year I had my first routine mammogram and found out that I have extremely dense breasts and am considered very cystic and lumpy. I had one noticeable sebaceous cyst on the upper portion of my right breast - Pea sizes at 8 mm. Another hidden cyst was found on the same breast and a fine needle biopsy was done. Fortunately everything came back benign.

I was referred to a surgeon to have the other noticeable cyst removed, but the surgeon declined doing surgery and said it should go away on its own. It was never biopsied, and over the course of 11 months doubled in size (still quite small). My next mammogram is scheduled for next month.

So early last week this cyst started to grow… i mean, it has quadrupled in size in 1 week, is painful, and swollen. I realize it may be infected and turned in to an abscess, but I cannot figure out what may be causing this. It’s hard, about 4 cm x 2 cm right now, and growing. I’m very concerned. I’m 41, do not have periods, haven’t breast fed in 21 years, with no history of cancer on either side of my family luckily. But I cannot find any good reason as to why a teeny cyst could grow so fast after being dormant for so long.

I have an appointment tomorrow with my OBGYN and am expecting referral to radiology or surgeon, but am not sure what to expect for urgency. Could this be something cancerous that was ignored/overlooked in my last exam and is now becoming a problem? Can abscesses be cancerous? There is no “head” on the lump, and it is definitely connected to my breast tissue and not on the skin surface.

Looking for any advice, feedback, opinions, that will help me get thru what I know will be a difficult waiting period as tests are ran… thank you!

Hi LadyAce77

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been worried about this and I hope the appointment was useful. If you ever need answers to questions like this feel free to also post on the “Ask Our Nurses” section of the Forum.

Take care, Becca at Breast Cancer Care.