A strange lump or bump can often be cause for concern. Most of us assume that it’s the dreaded big C, but 99% of the time a strange lump of bump is something completely different such as a cyst, a lipoma or a swollen lymph node. Such deformations tend to be harmless (although you may still find them unsightly and want them removed). To help you know whether you should be worried about your lump, here are a few questions that you should asks yourself.
Where is it located?
Bumps and lumps can form all over the body, but certain types tend to appear in certain areas. Lumps on the foot and wrist tend to be ganglion cysts, whilst lumps around the neck may be thyroid nodules. Cancerous lumps are less likely in these areas, but still possible.
A lump on the breast may not necessarily be dangerous as cysts and fibroademonas are also common on the breasts. By booking a 3d mammography, you’re likely to get a better idea as to the type of lump. A change in size and shape and inverted nipples are danger signs to look out for.
Hard or soft?
If the lump isn’t hard, it’s generally nothing to be worried about. Such lumps could be cysts – which tend be soft like a grape. Lipomas meanwhile are usually very squishy like a tennis ball.
Popped thyroid nodules can sometimes be mistaken for something more serious as they tend to be hard and immovable just like tumours – you’re probably best seeing a doctor if it’s hard so that you can get their opinion.
Does it hurt?
If your lump hurts to touch, this too could be a good sign. Whilst cancerous lumps can be painful, they’re generally not sensitive to touch – it’s more likely to be a cyst, a swollen gland or a lipoma.
Of course, pain is still something you probably won’t want to endure, so you should see your doctor about pain relief. Alternatively, you could get the lump removed – there are specialist clinics that deal in such procedures such as lipoma removal.
Is it growing?
A lot of types of lump will grow gradually. Rapid growth is usually something to be worried about – even if it’s not dangerous, it could be a sign that it’s going to continue growing at that rate in the future. By taking photos of the growth from week to week, you can record it’s a growth and get a good idea of whether it’s a concern.
Obviously if it’s growing, hard and doesn’t hurt to press, you should see a doctor as soon as possible as these are all tell-tale danger signs of something more serious.