Cancer has taken numerous American lives already and is expected to take another 595,690 lives in 2016. Cancerous cells grow rather silently, and, as a result, they often go unnoticed until it's too late. Because of this, most primary-care physicians place a lot of stress on the importance of getting regular physical checkups. It's important to feel for lumps or bulges that might potentially become a problem. Still, not all bulges and lumps are necessarily cancerous. In fact, they are often caused by other factors. Before you freak out, here are 3 non-cancerous causes you should explore.
Tensed Muscles from Muscle Spasms
When your muscles become tense from injury, stress, or strenuous exercises, they can contract into lumps or bulges. Before you start to freak out, determine whether you've been pushing yourself too hard physically. The lumps and bulges are often found in muscles that feel sore or tight. These lumps and bulges usually seemingly appear out of nowhere and will also disappear in a flash without requiring any medical attention. Still, if you want to be sure, you can take a muscle relaxant. Once your muscles have relaxed, the lumps and bulges you felt before should magically disappear.
Keep note of where the lumps or bulges appeared. If lumps keep appearing in the same place, there's a good chance that you are overworking or injuring a specific muscle. Your primary care physician will usually recommend that you either get physiotherapy to avoid irreparably damaging the muscle or that you take it easy for some time.
Excess Fatty Deposits in Lipoma
Another common cause of a lump or a bulge is a lipoma. Lipoma is basically the accumulation of fatty tissues in a certain area due to an injury. While this type of growth is considered a tumor, it is noncancerous, as it poses no actual threat. The lipoma will most likely never become cancerous neither, so you really don't have to worry about it. Lipoma is usually fairly easy to identify, as the lumps are usually rather small and measure between 0.4 inches to 1.2 inches. You should not feel any pain in the area, and the lumps should feel like they are located just underneath your skin. As a result, they tend to be fairly movable.
If the lumps and bulges you feel are lipoma, they should have a soft and rubbery consistency to them. In addition, they will not grow much or at all over the years. There's really nothing you should do if you have a lipoma. If it really bothers you, you can ask to have the lipoma surgically removed, although most primary care physicians recommend against surgery due to the fact that it's unnecessary.
Inflamed Lymph Nodes from Bacterial or Viral Buildup
Do you feel lumps or bulges on your body after you've come down with the flu or a cold? There's a good chance that you don't have anything to worry about, as the lumps and bulges are not indicative of cancer, but rather inflamed lymph nodes. This usually happens when bacterial or viral buildup is present within your lymph nodes. Your lymph nodes basically carry the cells in your immune system. When your lymph nodes are swollen, it means that your body is attacking the viral or bacterial buildup.
The lumps and bulges should disappear within a week or so after the infection. If they don't, you'll want to make an appointment with your primary-care physician, as it means that your immune system may not be fully effective.
There's no need to freak out just because you feel a bulge or a lump on your body. More often than not, these bulges or lumps are caused by non-cancerous factors. Still, the lumps may be an indication that you are physically unwell and need more rest or some minor and non-urgent medical attention. Click here to read more about the services a primary care physician can provide.