Do Breast Cysts Increase Cancer Risk?

Question asked by Corneliafan1830: I have cystic breast disease; my gynecologist doctor told me a couple of years ago that my breasts were like sacks of rocks. She then told me that basically breast cancer would never be found in time if I ever got it.

I've had mammograms every year since I was 35. I'm now 42, and have had a hysterectomy and am taking HRT. I wonder if I should be taking HRT, and is there any increased risk of breast cancer due to the cystic breast disease?

Answer from Karleen Habin, R.N.: I think you have a few questions here. Generally speaking, breast cysts do not cause nor are they a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.

Finding a lump however; always needs to be evaluated by your physician. If you have been told that you have breast density, and/or you have a family or personal risk factors for breast cancer, then you might want to ask your physician if MRI may be added with mammography for surveillance/screening.

HRT therapy, beyond five years, has been shown to increase a woman's chance in developing breast cancer; talk to your doctor about the risks associated with this therapy.