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Ultrasound Imaging for Suspicious Lumps and Bumps

Sep 27, 2021 | Uncategorized

Lumps and bumps are often encountered on various parts of the body, which can often create a cause for concern. It is important to know that the majority of detected lumps are usually harmless, however this does not mean that they should go unchecked.

Types of Lumps

The most common types of lumps are cysts and tumours. It is important to determine what type of lump you have as cysts are mostly benign, while tumours can be either benign or malignant.

1. Cysts

Cysts are closed capsule or sac-like structures, typically filled with a liquid, semisolid, or gaseous material, much like a blister. Cysts vary in size- from microscopic to very large. Cysts can grow almost anywhere in your body or under your skin. The majority of cysts are benign or noncancerous.

Whether a cyst needs treatment or not depends on a number of factors, including:

  • the type of cyst
  • the location of the cyst
  • if the cyst is causing pain or discomfort
  • whether the cyst is inflamed or infected

2. Tumours

The ‘National Cancer Institute’ define a tumour as “an abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should.”

In a healthy body, cells grow, divide, and replace each other in the body. As new cells form, the old ones die. When a person has cancer, new cells form when the body does not need them. If there are too many new cells, a group of cells (or tumour) can develop.

Although some tumours are benign and consist of noncancerous cells, others are malignant. Malignant tumours are cancerous, and the cells can spread to other parts of the body. Tumours can vary in size from a tiny nodule to a large mass, depending on the type, and they can appear almost anywhere on the body.

The Importance of Ultrasound

If a new lump is discovered, a simple soft tissue ultrasound scan can often detect and diagnose what the lump(s) may be, according to the composition of the tissue. It can also provide valuable information such as size, location and appearance of structures, which will assist in diagnosis.

An ultrasound scan is a painless test that provides images of the inside of the body by using high frequency sound waves. These sound waves are at a frequency which cannot be heard by the human ear, but when they bounce off different parts of the body, create echoes that are picked up by the probe and turned into a moving image.

Unlike other scans such as MRI and CT, ultrasound does not involve radiation and is in real time i.e. live imaging and is not static i.e. still pictures. This live information is interpreted and is used as the basis of the subsequent diagnostic report.

Most tumours are benign. Ultrasound can usually help differentiate between benign and malignant tumours based on shape, location, and a number of other sonographic characteristics. If the ultrasound is inconclusive, your doctor may request follow-up ultrasound to monitor the tumour, or a radiologist may recommend a biopsy.

Why book a private ultrasound scan?

Many of our clients choose to book an ultrasound scan with us after having been referred for a scan in the NHS by their GP, but are unwilling to wait for a scan appointment within the NHS- which can take many weeks. Going privately bypasses this, allowing quicker, more convenient appointments, meaning faster results. We offer flexible and convenient appointments, with clinics running during the day, evening and weekends. 

References:

healthline.com

medicalnewstoday.com 

No referral? No worry - book now for direct access to our ultrasound service.

We support both self-pay and insured patients. If you are self-funding, you can request to book a scan online within minutes. If you are insured, please contact our team to discuss your imaging request and arrange an appointment.