Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

No treatment is necessary for fluid-filled (simple) breast cysts. If you haven't reached menopause, your doctor may recommend closely monitoring a breast cyst to see if it resolves on its own.

Fine-needle aspiration

Fine-needle aspiration, the procedure used to diagnose a breast cyst, also may serve as treatment if your doctor removes all the fluid from the cyst at the time of diagnosis, your breast lump disappears and your symptoms resolve.

If you have a breast cyst, you may need to have fluid drained more than once. Recurrent or new cysts are common. However, if the cyst is persistent through two to three menstrual cycles and increasing in size, you should see your doctor for evaluation with an ultrasound.

Hormone use

Using birth control pills (oral contraceptives) to regulate your menstrual cycles may help reduce the recurrence of breast cysts. But because of possible serious side effects, birth control pills or other hormone therapy, such as tamoxifen, is usually only recommended in women with severe symptoms. Discontinuing hormone replacement therapy during the postmenopausal years may reduce the formation of cysts as well.


Surgical removal of a cyst is necessary only in unusual circumstances. Surgery may be considered if an uncomfortable breast cyst recurs month after month or if a breast cyst contains blood-tinged fluid or shows other worrisome signs.

Nov. 09, 2012