HomeAnswersMedical oncologybreast cancerIs the lump in breast cancer or cyst?

Is the lump in breast cancer or cyst?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 29, 2018
Reviewed AtNovember 10, 2022

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I found a lump in my breast five months back. Initially, it was told to be a cyst. I followed up after four weeks, and the cyst was unchanged. My PCP recommended a needle biopsy to be safe. My surgeon felt more comfortable with a lumpectomy because I have a family history of thyroid tumors, and I have a pituitary tumor. After the lumpectomy, I was diagnosed with ER/PR-positive, HER2 breast cancer. I am confused about my pathology report. It states DCIS but also states a test was performed to confirm the lesion was invasive. It also calls it an infiltrating carcinoma. From what I have researched, this is contradictory.

Currently, I am on Paxil 40 mg a day, Nexium OTC a day, Trulicity 1.5 mg SQ, Trulicity 1.5 mg SQ a week, Lisinopril 2.5 mg a day, Cabergoline 0.5 mg a day, and Amaryl 4 mg BID.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have seen your reports. It looks like early breast cancer, and it is predominantly a cystic lesion. It is staged as pT1c Nx hormone receptor-positive and HER2/neu negative. Histopathology is showing low-risk breast cancer as it is predominantly a cystic lesion with a predominance of intracystic papillary components, but there are areas of infiltrating mammary carcinoma and areas of DCIS (ductal carcinoma-in-situ). So, it is an early stage low-risk breast cancer. Have they done a sentinel lymph node biopsy to check the lymph node status?

You have a family history of thyroid tumors and previous personal history of a benign pituitary tumor. That may be part of some genetic syndrome. For that, you may need to go for genetic counseling. Your breast lesion is showing ER+, PR+, and HER2/neu negative. These are also good prognostic factors in breast cancer. Discuss with your primary oncologist about few points as follows:

  1. Why sentinel lymph node biopsy was not done?
  2. Hormonal therapy (Tamoxifen) is needed.
  3. To do an X-ray chest and ultrasound of the abdomen or CT (computed tomography) scan to look for any distant lesion.
  4. Genetic counseling because of your young age and thyroid, pituitary, and breast lesions.

Overall prognosis is very good in early and low-risk breast cancers.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah
Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah

Medical oncology

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