In many cases, lumps and bumps are harmless and can go away on their own if left untreated. A lump or bump's location — along with how it looks and feels — is always the first clue as to what it might be. A visit to your primary care physician should be your first stop. Your doctor will examine the area where the lump or swelling is located and confirm the cause or decide it's time to see a specialist. If there is any reason for a biopsy or ultrasound scan, your doctor will let you know what to expect from these procedures.
Warning signs to watch for:
- The lump is hard to the touch and doesn't move
- The lump or area of the swelling has become painful
- The size of the lump has become a larger or has an irregular outline
- If once removed and the lump grows back, it is time to rule out any rare cancers
- If the lump is red, hot, bleeding and, itchy
- Skin puckering or having the texture of an orange peel
Steps to take when you find a lump or bump:
- The first thing to do when you find a lump, especially if it's a tiny one, is get a pen or marker and place an X or circle on your skin over the lump to mark the
- After you have marked the lump's location, call your primary care doctor or gynecologist to schedule an appointment.
If the lump is benign, it may not require any treatment at all. Your doctor may decide to monitor it over time and keep track of any changes. Many benign skin growths can't be prevented. They may develop due to aging, genetics, pregnancy, injury, or medical conditions. Usually, it's best to leave them alone once you have consulted your physician. Talk to your doctor about any symptoms you may also have when getting your lump examined.
Christian E. Isaac MD, is an orthopedic surgeon located in Frisco Texas. He graduated with "honors," from Dartmouth Medical School, followed by six years of orthopaedic surgery training as a resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Isaac returned to his home in Toronto for an additional year of fellowship training in musculoskeletal oncology at Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret Hospitals. Dr. Isaac specializes in total knee replacement, hip replacement, shoulder surgery, sarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma, benign and malignant bone cancer, and complex joint reconstruction surgery.