Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is a soft tissue lump?"
My best friend told me via email today that she has a soft tissue lump. I'm confused as to what exactly this is, and I'm definitely worried.
It sounds like your friend is concerned about this too, as she is sharing the information with you, her trusted friend. The best thing for her to do is see a physician right away to assess what this lump might be and what, if anything, needs to be done about it. Hopefully this will turn out to be something mild and of no concern. There are many different things that can cause 'lumps' in soft tissue, including cysts (a small fluid-filled sac) or a lipoma (small, benign growth in fatty tissue). Depending upon where this lump is, your friend could also be feeling an enlarged lymph node. Most people will have palpable (small) lymph nodes in the neck or in the groin. These nodes can also enlarge when someone has an infection. In some cases a person may have had a minor trauma and developed a soft tissue bruise without remembering the initial injury. However, depending upon its location, a lump could also represent more serious underlying disease. Some cancers such as lymphoma or breast cancer can be detected by a patient. For this reason, it is best that your friend be evaluated by her physician right away to make sure that the area is examined and any further diagnostic steps are started. Make sure she books an appointment as soon as possible.
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