Most lumps and swellings can be harmless and left alone. However, do see a doctor if you develop a new lump or swelling that appears suddenly over a day or two may be caused by an injury or infection, so the doctor can advise you about how to take care of it. 

A common area that has unexplained lump or swelling:

  • face
  • neck or throat
  • breast
  • groin area
  • hand, wrist, or finger
  • shoulders, back, chest or arm
  • armpit

Different types of lump or swelling: 

  • mumps – a viral infection that usually affects children and causes swelling of the glands on the side of the face
  • allergic reaction – for example to nuts, which causes swelling in the deeper layers of the skin (angioedema)
  • dental abscess – that causes the side of the mouth to swell
  • salivary gland stone – this forms when the chemicals in saliva crystallize and block the flow of saliva from a salivary gland near the jaw, causing pain and swelling around the jaw
  • swollen glands – usually a sign of infection, such as a cold or glandular fever; the glands tend to go down when you recover
  • cyst – a harmless fluid-filled lump that may disappear on its own without treatment
  • skin tag – a harmless, knobbly wart-like growth that hangs off the skin
  • goiter – an abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck that causes a lump to form in the throat
  • mastitis – painful, swollen breast tissue that is sometimes caused by an infection
  • a non-cancerous growth (fibroadenoma)
  • lipoma – a harmless fatty lump
  • ganglion cyst – fluid-filled capsules
  • warts – are caused by an infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are very contagious. However, they’re usually harmless.
  • swollen lymph gland – The glands in the armpit can swell to more than a few centimeters in response to infection or illness. Swollen glands usually go down when you recover.

We need to identify your lumps or swelling before advising you on the recommended treatment for your condition. Excision will be recommended if removal of lumps is required, suspected lumps will be sent to the laboratory for biopsy test to further investigation.

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