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Breast Cancer

Multiple cysts

05/15/2008

Question:

I just finished my mammo and breast ultrasound. It showed 3 cysts on my right breast, one of which is a complicated cyst. On the left breast it showed a solide nodule; all with benign features. should i have them removed surgically? if yes, how soon? if not, will these not turn malignant in time. i have no history of breast cancer but on my father side we do have a history of cancer - my father died of lung cancer, his mother of liver ca. and now his younger sister has colon ca.

Answer:

Simple cysts generally do not require any further treatment.  Sometimes, complex cysts and benign nodules require additional imaging in less than a year to make sure that they are stable in size, but they generally do not require removal.  Benign lesions such as these do not turn malignant.  The cancers described do not sound like they would increase the risk of you having breast cancer.  Continue good screening for both breast and colon cancer (annual mammograms and clinical breast exams as well as monthly self breast examination).  I'm not sure of your age or the age of your aunt at the time of her colon cancer, but generally, colonoscopy should be performed at age 50.  If your aunt was diagnoses under age 60, you may want to have a colonoscopy 5-10 years prior to her cancer diagnosis. 

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Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University