How To Tell If A Lump is Cancer?

How To Tell If A Lump is Cancer (Body Lumps Explained)
Medically reviewed by Richard Honaker M.D.

It is common to discover lumps and bumps along the body. While most of these curvaceous growths are harmless, some can signify a serious health condition. 

How can you tell the difference between a harmless swelling and one that needs medical attention? 

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Listen to my video explaining what are ‘Bad Signs’ for a lump?

When to Talk to a Doctor About Your Lumps

Diagnosing lumps and bumps on your own can be challenging. If you are worried about cancer or have a history of cancer in your family, talk to us about it and we will answer your question: when to worry about a lump under the skin?

Cancer or other serious lumps will have these signs:

  • Firm/hard to the touch
  • It doesn’t move around, fixed to the tissue
  • Not tender when touched
  • Felt in the breast or groin region
  • Grows steadily
  • Uneven surface
  • New lump

One of my patients, Calla, agreed to share her experience when she presented with a similar complaint.

‘I found a breast lump on self-examination.’ – Calla.

I was watching videos on Youtube and came across a video by a breast cancer survivor. In that video, she showed how to conduct a self-breast examination. Curiously, I followed the instructions, and I was surprised to find a lump! For a second, I thought it could just be my imagination, but it was still there the next day. However, I had no pain, discharge, or any other abnormal symptoms.

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I had been using the Your Doctors Online application for more than a month at that point, so I logged in and got connected with Dr. Honaker. He calmed me down and took a detailed personal and family history. After I had described what the lump felt like in detail, he told me the likely cause was a fibroadenoma, a noncancerous breast lump. Because I didn’t have any symptoms, the lump didn’t require treatment.

After the consultation, I finally managed to book an appointment with my GP as well. She further confirmed that it was a fibroadenoma. Your Doctors Online never fails to impress me with their quick and thorough diagnosis.’ – Calla.

Concerned about a lump? Contact your doctors online

Of course, you must never ignore pain or discharge and don’t assume that all cancers present lumps. For example, anaplastic astrocytoma, a malignant type of brain tumour requires diagnosis via a CT or MRi scan.

Don’t Lose Sleep Over Finding a Lump.

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Don’t let a busy schedule stop you from speaking to a doctor about your health concerns. Connect with a real doctor in minutes with the Your Doctors Online app. Skip the waiting room and the germs and get medical advice 24 hours a day. Click below to download our FREE app today. 

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