It’s always important to get breast lumps checked out but it is also important to remember that most breast lumps are not cancerous. The first port of call if you have a breast lump is your GP. They will examine you and will be able to give you some indication of how likely it is that there is a potentially worrying cause. If they have any concerns, they will refer you to a hospital breast clinic (either on the NHS or privately), where you will often be able to have a full assessment and investigations at a single visit. These investigations include mammography (an X-ray examination of your breast tissue), an ultrasound of the breast tissue and, if appropriate, a biopsy. If you are found to have a cyst in the breast causing your lump, the specialist will often draw off a small amount of the fluid in a syringe and send it to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope. This is called fine needle aspiration. If the lump is solid, you may have a ‘core needle biopsy’, in which a hollow needle is inserted into the lump under ultrasound or X-ray control, and a small sample of the tissue removed and sent to the laboratory for examination.
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