Should I Get Screened For Breast Cancer If I Have A Cyst That Hurts?

Question from justdreamylynna: Hi everyone! I am a 29 year old with three little boys. There is history of breast cancer and cysts in our family, any where from my great great grandma, great aunt, grandma and my mom.

Last year I found a lump, I had a mammogram and an ultrasound. They said it is a round (no rough or jagged edges) cyst and that I don't really need to worry about it. I have found more lumps and they hurt so bad. They hurt when touched, bumped &when I'm laying on my side. They hurt a different kind of pain just hanging there. I was told that if it were cancer it wouldn't hurt. Is that true? Do I need another mammogram? Should I get it biopsy?

Response from Anthony Elias, M.D., University of Colorado Cancer Center: While cancers do not usually hurt, they can; so pain is not something that lets you ignore a lump. On the other hand, cysts are usually benign.

Usually if a cyst hurts, we will draw out the fluid from them to relieve pain. Sometimes they come back and sometimes we will remove them. I would recommend that you see a breast expert radiologist and consider getting the cysts drained so you feel better. Typically this is done with an ultrasound. A mammogram is probably not needed unless one of the cysts is abnormal in appearance.

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