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Do You Have a Cyst?

Aug 17, 2007
In our health-conscious culture, many people do a monthly self-inspection in search of odd moles, cysts, or tumors, or anything else that seems out of place on their bodies. This generally is a good idea, because they can then let the doctor know if they find something that appears to be suspicious, and the doctor has a better chance of providing an early diagnosis and rendering proper treatment.

The seven warning signs of cancer include the suggestion of reporting any unusual growths or sores. Women who check their breasts each month for possible cancerous tumors know to feel for small, hard nodules that may feel like a pea, a marble, or a similar type of growth. Yet, how does one look for a cyst? Cysts have many causes and even take a variety of forms. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Look for large or stubborn pimples. Sometimes an ingrown hair follicle becomes inflamed and develops a watery base. At first it may look like a pimple or ingrown hair. Over time, the fluid may drain and the follicle will return to normal. When it does not, however, the follicle may develop a small cyst that could still go away on its own or may need to be lanced by a doctor. Sometimes they grow fairly large, so see your doctor if you suspect you have one of these.

2. Calcium deposits can spur the growth of cysts on any part of the body, but often near a bone or joint. These are harmless but may look unsightly or get caught on clothing. Doctors can likewise lance and drain these, or if they are hardened, they may need to be removed surgically.

3. A fatty tumor-cyst is related to fat deposits under the skin's surface. These can show up in various places on the body, but often appear on the back, neck, shoulders, or upper arms. A doctor will need to check it for malignancy first, and then it often will be removed surgically.

4. An ovarian cyst can develop when a woman's ovary attempts to release a monthly egg and it becomes inflamed in the process. These can lead to bloody discharge, abdominal pain, and even a fever, so it is always important to get a medical examination to rule out other potentially serious conditions. Ovarian cysts often resolve in a day or so.

If you have a growth on your body that feels soft, gelatin-like, or wobbly, chances are it may be a cyst. But your doctor needs to evaluate it to rule out other problems and to help you decide what, if anything, needs to be done. Don't delay in asking your doctor's opinion about any new growth that appears on your body. Sometimes cysts go away on their own, but at other times they need medical treatment.
About the Author
Cyst help is available when you visit Cyst Information and Research Society at http://www.cystinfo.com
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