If you are almost positive that this is an innocent lump, why do you want to take it out?

One can never be 100 percent positive about what it is until it is examined under the microscope. The removal of a benign tumor is such a safe and simple procedure that it is better to have it removed and know what it is rather than to worry about it, watch it, and still be uncertain. My friend has an ugly scar across the center of the breast. I want to avoid that. This is what makes me hesitant about being operated on.

For the removal of a breast cyst or the biopsy or excision of an innocent tumor, the surgeon rarely needs to make an obvious and unsightly incision. The incision can be concealed in the pigmented skin about the nipple or in the lower or outer curve of the breast. These incisions heal so well and fall so well into the natural skin tissues that they are virtually imperceptible after several months. The scar is red at first because it contains blood vessels; as the scar matures, the blood vessels are no longer obvious and the well made scar blends with the normal skin color and folds.

Do cancerous and non-cancerous breast lumps feel different?


What sort of innocent tumor can it be?

It can be a cyst, a collection of glands, or some sort of specific tissue overgrowth. It can even be a conglomeration of injured fat, called fat necrosis. In rare instances the tumor is a type of infection. The commonest tumor is composed of glands and scar tissue and is called a fibroadenoma. This is especially common in younger women.

I've already been operated on for a cyst on the other side. Does this mean I'll need another operation every time a cyst is discovered?

Not necessarily. If the examination and mammogram are not disturbing, we can safely aspirate it or observe it for a while, especially if it changes in size and becomes sensitive just before you menstruate. Only rarely is it necessary to remove a second or even a third cyst. In doubtful cases it is better to be sure than sorry. The removal of an innocent breast tumor or a biopsy is almost the least risky operation in general surgery. Complications from this surgery are extremely rare. Therefore, because of the low risk and the high yield of information, there should be no hesitation about undertaking it in any doubtful situation.

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