10 Things You Didn’t Know About Breast Cysts

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Finding a lump in your breast is always a cause for concern. But did you know that most of the lumps women (and men) find in their breast tissue are simply harmless cysts? These cysts are merely balls of fluid that develop in some people’s breast tissue, and they’re generally nothing to worry about.

Check out the list below to learn more about what cysts are, what can be done about them, and how much you should worry if you believe you’ve found one in your breast. Then check out the video below to see how easy it is to get a cyst aspirated and hear what The Doctors have to say about cysts and cancer.

Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

  1. Only 1 in 1,000 cysts contain abnormal cells. Cysts, in general, are overwhelmingly benign.
  2. Older women are more likely to get cysts than younger women. Menopause is a huge factor in a person’s risk for cysts. So is hormone replacement therapy for post-menopausal women.
  3. 50% of women have cysts.
  4. 20% of women can actually feel the cysts they have with a traditional self-exam.
  5. Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

    Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

  6. There’s no way to tell for sure whether a lump is cancer or a benign cyst without going to see your doctor.
  7. Cysts can appear very quickly. Generally, a lump that pops up overnight is a good sign, as it is likely a cyst rather than cancer.
  8. In an ultrasound, a cyst will show up as a black mass with very clearly defined borders.
  9. Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

    Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

  10. If you get a lot of cysts, giving up caffeine can help.
  11. Sodium can make breast cysts bigger, since it causes the body to retain water.
  12. For most people, the procedure to drain cysts is simple, fast, and nearly painless.
  13. Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

    Photo: YouTube/Pink Lotus Breast Center

    Watch below as a woman with a cyst gets it removed on The Doctors. If you’re at all concerned about getting a cyst removed, this video will help you realize just how easy the process is and how little there is to worry about most of the time. It’s important to get checked out, just in case, but there’s no reason to get stressed before your appointment.

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    Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?