Breast cysts are a very common benign disease, thought to affect about 60% of women.

As benign, they should not be a cause for concern, as Dr. Corrado Tinterri, Head of Senology at Humanitas and Director of the Breast Unit, pointed out in an interview with Buongiorno Benessere on Rai Uno.

“This is a malformative disease: an altered development of the milk ducts, small tubes immersed in the lobules of the breast. Breast cysts are particularly common in women aged 30 to 50.

They are related to women’s menstrual and hormonal flow and we do not really know why this change in breast tissue is caused. The contraceptive pill, for example, is unintentionally a cure for these cysts, precisely because it stabilizes female hormones.


How do cysts differ?

“The cysts differ substantially according to their symptoms, they are almost always the dilatations of the ducts with a liquid content. A cyst is defined by sediment when bacteria or sediments precipitate in the liquid, forming a sort of incrustation inside the cysts.

Within the cysts, very rarely, benign or non-benign neoplasms can form, which are characterized by a formation that grows inside and can bleed (cysts with vegetation). The presence of blood in the needle centesis is a warning sign that can lead to the operating room, but it is a rather rare event,” reassures Dr. Tinterri.


How do you identify cysts?

“When a woman washes or touches her breast, especially during the premenstrual phase, she may notice a kind of grape seed under her skin, very mobile and sore, which can appear within 24 hours.

Usually cysts are detected by ultrasound or mammography and generally should not be treated; they should be removed when something abnormal grows inside or in the presence of bleeding.


Breast controls

“The checks begin around thirty years of age, but it is very important to know if someone has had breast cancer in the family, because in this case it is good to start a little earlier to look after your breasts and not to go over thirty years of age for a breast examination and ultrasound.

In women aged 30 to 40, breast ultrasound is essential. If you are over 40 to 45 years of age, you should have a mammogram. After 45 years of age, mammography screening programs are starting all over Italy and I recommend all women to take part in them because they really save their lives,” concluded Dr. Tinterri.