Aspiration of a breast lump is used as a diagnostic procedure to detect breast cancer and as a treatment for fluid-filled breast cysts. If aspiration confirms that a breast lump is solid tissue, a sample of cells is withdrawn and examined under a microscope for evidence of cancer. If the lump is a cyst, the fluid will be drained and the lump should disappear. If it does not disappear, a cell sample will be taken and examined, as for a solid lump. Aspiration may be uncomfortable but usually takes only a few seconds.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.