Lump: Definition, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

It is defined as bulges protruding from a surface.

The term is closely related to the human body, and many parts of it are described as protruding (such as the eyebrow area).

However, some types of bumps present are abnormal and are signs that there is something wrong with your body or you have a disease or condition; some types of nodes are:

Skin bumps

Localized increase in volume, appearing on the surface of the skin. These bumps can arise on the skin as more superficial lesions, or they can form from a more profound injury, which pushes the skin’s surface upward, making it protruding.

They can appear in any body region and vary in size, color, and consistency. Some may scratch, while others may be painful and cause other symptoms, such as redness and pus formation.


Several reasons can lead to the appearance of a bump on the skin, from widespread problems, such as warts, to more severe health problems, such as skin cancer. See some of the possible causes:

  • Lipomas: they are benign, nodular tumors of smooth consistency, painless, and formed by adipose cells, that is, fat cells. They start under the skin, more profound, pushing normal skin up, and giving it a bulging appearance.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes can arise in response to joint inflammation or infections, such as a sore throat or ear or a benign or malignant tumor of the lymphatic system. They usually occur in the armpits, neck, and groin.
  • Cysts: are liquid collections that form inside a capsule. The most common are those with sebaceous content. They develop under the skin, more profound, pushing normal skin up and lipomas.
  • Boils: they are cystic lesions, as well as sebaceous cysts, but infected by bacteria. They are painful and are characterized by redness and swelling at the site.
  • Calluses: thickening the skin in response to continuous pressure on a fixed point.
  • Warts: these are raised lesions, slightly rough surface, and often have small black spots on the surface. They are viral in origin, caused by HPV infection.
  • Abscess: these are cystic lesions that have become infected by bacteria.
  • Skin cancer (carcinoma): this is the most common type. They are lesions with a rough or flaky surface (easy to bleed) that do not heal.
  • Skin cancer (melanoma) is the most severe skin cancer; it can arise from brown or black spots, which change color or are asymmetrical and present rapid growth without any bulge. Nodular lesions, when they occur, indicate advanced disease.

Seek medical help

If you notice unexplained bumps or swelling on your skin, seek medical help from a dermatologist.


Most cases can be easily diagnosed through a simple physical examination and anamnesis during a medical consultation; others may require more invasive tests such as biopsy, capable of analyzing the origin of the problem.

In medical consultation

Experts who can diagnose a skin problem are:

  • General clinical.
  • Dermatologist.
  • Oncologist.

Lumps in the groin

A lump in the groin refers to any nodule that appears in the area where the legs and trunk connect.

The nodule in the groin can vary in shape and size and may or may not be painful. Some nodules are felt integrally, while others appear as a collection of lumps. It may also be that a bump in the groin moves.

A lump in the groin may remain skin-colored, red, or purple. Some nodules in the groin can ulcerate (“burst”) or form wounds. The shape and appearance of a bone in the groin will depend on the cause. Any lump in the groin should be evaluated in a doctor’s office as quickly as possible.


  • Allergic reaction.
  • Harmless (benign) cyst.
  • Hernia (usually a prominent, soft bulge in the crotch, on one side or bilateral).
  • Leg infections.
  • Trauma from injury to the groin area.
  • Lipomas (harmless fatty growths).
  • Sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  • I have swollen lymph glands in the groin area.
  • Cancer.

In medical consultation

Experts who can diagnose the causes of groin lumps are:

  • Urologist.
  • Gynecologist.
  • Oncologist.

Lumps of the abdominal wall

The bulges in this area of ​​the body are usually hernias.

Hernias of the abdominal wall are portions of an organ or tissue (fat within the loops of the abdomen or intestine, for example) that move through a hole (called a hernial ring) and invade an improper space outside of the abdominal compartment, forming a hernial bag.

The hernial ring is a hole caused by the weakening of the abdominal wall, made up of muscles and fascia.

The displacement of tissues and organs through the hernial ring occurs due to the weakening of the abdominal wall, which can be a consequence of a congenital problem or be associated with efforts that compromise the abdominal wall (physical exercises, pregnancy, or obesity, for example) leaving the weakened abdominal wall.

Herniated contents can be exteriorized and returned to the abdominal compartment through the hernial ring. This hernia is called reducible when it can replace the herniated content with its place of origin. When the hernial content is imprisoned in the hernial ring, making return impossible, we call that hernia of incarcerated.


The risk of hernia complication arises due to a large volume of the displaced organ – increasing the content in the hernial sac – and a narrow hernial ring, which makes it difficult for the organ to return.

In this way, the hernial content remains imprisoned (imprisoned) in the hernial sac and subject to strangulation, which compromises blood circulation in the site and leads to necrosis of the herniated organ.

If the hernial content is an intestinal handle, its strangulation can still generate intestinal obstruction, which has abdominal cramps and difficulty eliminating gas and stool as symptoms.

This condition is severe and requires emergency surgery since the compression of the blood vessels that nourish the intestinal loop promotes gangrene and rupture of the circle, leading to a severe abdominal infection. Therefore, the surgery is an emergency.


The patient with this disease may initially feel pain when the herniated tissue is compressed by the hernial ring, which may worsen with physical efforts.

The patient may also refer pain to the touch of the hernial contents. In addition, with time, it may also present a bump at the hernia site, indicating projection of the hernial tissue through the ring.

If the hernia is diagnosed initially, it is possible to reduce the hernial content, returning it to its natural place. But if this content is very bulky and with a narrow hernial ring, the hernia can become irreducible, increasing discomfort and pain.

In cases where there is strangulation of a bowel loop, the patient may have abdominal distention and vomiting.


The most common hernias in the region surrounded by the abdominal wall are:

  • Epigastric: occurs in the abdominal midline (Alba line) due to the elimination of the rectus abdominis muscle (two muscles located in the front and central part of the abdomen, above the navel). Surgery is the procedure indicated to treat since there is no spontaneous closure of this hernia.
  • Umbilical: it appears precisely in the navel region, usually when an intestinal loop or intra-abdominal fat passes through the orifice of the hernia. This can occur due to a congenital or acquired defect due to overexertion, pregnancy, or obesity.
  • Hernia – This is the most common type of hernia. It arises in the groin (the area where the thigh and the lower abdomen join). Men are more vulnerable to this type of hernia and are still at risk of spreading the disease to the testicles, thus developing an inguinoscrotal hernia.
  • Inguinoscrotal: occurs in the scrotum, usually due to the inguinal hernia that expands and reaches this structure.
  • Femoral: it is more common in women, this type of hernia is rarer. It corresponds to the protrusion of the hernial contents through the femoral canal (orifice located near the inguinal region), leading to a bulge at the root of the thigh, just below the groin region.


In general, only the surgical procedure is effective for treating the hernia. Any other remedy can, at most, alleviate the symptoms. Without proper treatment, the disease tends to progress, and you risk requiring emergency surgery.

The types of surgery

Hernia surgery depends on the type and location of the hernia but can be done conventionally (cut in) or laparoscopically (video with small “holes” in the abdominal wall).

Generally speaking, this surgical treatment in adults may include implanting a prosthesis (shield) to reinforce the fragile area. Surgery can be performed under general, regional, or local anesthesia, depending on the type and size of the hernia.

Postoperative care

The patient in postoperative hernia surgery will usually discharge on the same day or the day after the procedure, going home with pain medication.

Physical activities should be avoided in the first days to weeks after correction of the hernia, depending on the size of the surgery, to prevent pain and recurrence of the disease.

Bumps on the genitals

Genital warts

Genital warts, also known as condylomata acuminate, are among the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Europe and the world. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are very contagious.

An outbreak of genital warts is usually characterized by the growth of small bumps in the genital area of ​​men and women. Despite being benign and painless, genital warts can impact health, mainly on a psychological level.

Lump in testicles

Testicular nodules are also called testicular excesses or testicular tumors. The size of the dough can range from a few millimeters to several centimeters. These have to be clear signs of cancer. If the testicular or growing tumor is painful, you should think about the following causes:

  • Local trauma.
  • Orquioepididimitis.
  • Post-mumps orchitis.
  • Twisted testicle.

If the opposite is painless:

  • Cancer.
  • Hydrocele.
  • Hernia.
  • Varicocele.
  • Epididymis cysts.

How is it diagnosed?

Pain in the area with the bulge can lead to a medical check-up (in the case of torsion of the testicle and epididymal-orchitis), or the patient can manipulate the site to detect the mass.

The increase in volume interfering with the aesthetics of the scrotum is another cause of medical demand (it is the case of hydroceles).

Urine tests, agriculture, tumor markers, hemogram, and abdominal and scrotal ultrasound complement the diagnosis.

How is it treated?

  • Epididymal-orchitis is treated with rest, pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, scrotal suspension, and antibiotics.
  • If it is the case of testicular torsion, the treatment is surgical and emergency.
  • Although each case must be well individualized, hydroceles and varicoceles can also have surgical treatment.
  • If a malignant testicular tumor is suspected, the patient should be taken for surgery.
  • Preoperative examinations include serum tumor markers (substances that indicate the presence of tumors).
  • Surgery involves examining the testicle through a focused biopsy (incision) through the inguinal region (groin).
  • The entire testicle is removed (orchiectomy) if the tumor is found to be malignant.
  • The subsequent treatment will depend on the type of tumor and the presence or absence of metastases.

Lumps on the chest

Breast cysts

Breast cysts are a benign (not cancerous) condition. They are one of the most common causes of a breast lump and can develop in one or both breasts.

Breast cysts are believed to develop naturally as the breasts change with age due to regular changes in hormone levels. It is common to have more than one cyst.

The breasts are made up of lobes (milk-producing glands) and ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) surrounded by glandular, fibrous, and fatty tissue. Sometimes fluid-filled sacs develop in breast tissue; these are breast cysts.

Although you can develop breast cysts at any age, they are more common in women over 35. They create more often as women approach menopause and usually stop after a woman has passed menopause.

Women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause can also develop cysts.

Breast cysts can feel soft or hard and can be any size, from a few millimeters to several centimeters. They can develop quickly and anywhere in the breast.

For some people, cysts can feel uncomfortable and even painful. Before a period, cysts may become enlarged and feel sore and tender. However, many women can have cysts and not be able to feel them at all.

Although it is much more common in women, men can also get breast cysts.

How are you? How are they?

Cysts are usually noticed as a breast lump or found by chance during a routine screening mammogram (x-ray of the breast) or while doing investigations at a breast clinic for another reason.

If you see your GP (local doctor) because you have found a lump, they will sometimes be able to tell if it feels like a cyst. However, you will likely be referred to a breast clinic where you will be seen by doctors or specialist nurses and do some tests.

You will have a breast exam at the breast clinic. A mammogram and ultrasound (which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of the breast) may also be done.

If you are under 40, you are more likely to have an ultrasound only. This is because the breast tissue of younger women can be dense, making the X-ray image less clear and making it more difficult to find regular changes or benign conditions.

If the tumor can be easily felt, your specialist may place a fine needle and remove the fluid to confirm that it is a fluid-filled cyst.

Treatment and follow-up

If you have breast cysts or cysts, you will not need any treatment or follow-up. Most cysts go away on their own, and there is nothing to worry about.

If the cyst is considerable or causing discomfort, your specialist can remove the fluid with a fine needle and syringe. Sometimes this is done using ultrasound to help find the cyst.

The fluid removed from the cyst can vary in color and range from light to dark. It will only be sent to a lab for testing if the liquid is stained with blood.

Once the fluid has been removed, the cyst usually disappears. You may feel some discomfort as the fluid is removed, and the area may feel bruised and tender for a few days afterward. If so, taking pain relief like acetaminophen should help.

Breast cysts can come back, or you can develop new cysts. Treatment for cysts is generally the same each time.

Malignant tumor of the breasts (breast cancer)

Breast cancer is the accumulation of cancer cells that start in the breast cells. Although breast cancer occurs predominantly in women, it can also affect men. Breast cancer and its complications can affect almost every part of the body.

Symptoms and Signs of Breast Cancer

  • A lump in the breast or armpit.
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple.
  • Inverted nipple.
  • The texture of orange peel or dimples of the skin of the breast.
  • Breast pain or sore nipple.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit and a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.

Diagnosis and treatment

Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, breast self-exam, mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy. Cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer and its stage and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

Breast cancer patients have many treatment options. Most treatments are specifically tailored to the type of cancer and the staging group. Treatment options are adjusted frequently, and your healthcare provider will have information on the current level of care available.

Treatment options should be discussed with a healthcare team. The following are the primary treatment modalities used in treating breast cancer.


Most women with breast cancer will require surgery. Generally speaking, surgical therapies for breast cancer can be divided into breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy.

  • Breast-conserving surgery: This surgery will only remove part of the breast (sometimes called a partial mastectomy). The extent of the surgery is determined by the size and location of the tumor.
  • Mastectomy: During a mastectomy (sometimes also known as a simple mastectomy), all of the breast tissue is removed.
  • Radical mastectomy: During this surgery, the surgeon removes the axillary lymph nodes and muscle from the chest wall in addition to the breast.
  • Modified radical mastectomy: This surgery removes the axillary lymph nodes in addition to the breast tissue.
  • Preventive surgery: For a small group of patients at very high risk for breast cancer, surgery to remove the breasts may be an option.

Treatments and therapies

  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy kills cancer cells with high-energy rays. There are two ways to give radiation therapy.
  • External beam radiation – This is the usual way the radiation therapy is given for breast cancer. An external machine focuses a beam of radiation on the affected area. Treatment is usually given five days a week for five to six weeks.
  • Brachytherapy: This way of giving radiation uses radioactive seeds or pellets. Instead of a beam from outside that delivers the radiation, these seeds are implanted into the breast next to cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy treats cancers with drugs that travel through the bloodstream to cancer cells. These drugs are given by injection into a vein or by mouth.
  • Hormone therapy is often used to help reduce the risk of cancer coming back after surgery, but it can also be used as an add-on treatment.