Breast cyst

Wendy is 55 years old. She has noticed a large lump in her left breast when showering this morning. She cannot believe that she has not noticed it before and is very anxious. She has been fitted into the clinic as an urgent referral later in the morning. Wendy has no previous history of breast problems and no family history of breast cancer. She has been having regular screening mammograms. Her most recent mammogram was only 4 months ago and was normal.

On examination there is a visible lump in the left breast at the 2 o'clock position. Palpation reveals a non-tender lump measuring 2cm in diameter.

Ultrasound shows a well-circumscribed density with good posterior acoustic enhancement. It measures 1.8 cm in maximum diameter and is located 1 cm from the areolar margin.

Ultrasound of cyst                                      Typical Cyst fluid in syringe

Breast cyst

Wendy can be immediately reassured that the features are those of a benign cyst. After this explanation the cyst is aspirated under ultrasound guidance and seen to resolve completely.

Mammography is not necessary now as the cyst has resolved completely and she has had a normal screening mammogram within the last 6 months.

Wendy can be reassured that she had a benign breast cyst.

She should continue with breast surveillance.

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