Finding lumps in your body can be quite worrisome, jarring, or just “meh” to you, depending on your mentality. But whatever your reaction to these little intruders in your body, you should pause and dial your doctor’s number for a quick check-up! You see, lumps can be quite tricky as they are either completely harmless or malignant so you should never ignore them in any case. After all, an estimated 1.8 people will get diagnosed with cancer in the US this year, according the National Cancer Institute.  To avoid panic or denial.

here is a list of ways to identify the lumps on your body, how to identify cancer lump, and what you should know.

1. Are those lumps on your body?

You might find small lumps here and there on your body, and they’re harmless most of the time. But if you discover a lump that is bigger than “usual” or even the size of a golf ball, you should check with your doctor immediately. One of the first things you notice in a lump is its size, location, and feel. Is it small? Is it tender to the touch? Is it soft or hard? Is it moving or changing form? Is it painful? Even if it’s a small lump on neck, lump in throat, lump in armpit, lump behind ear, you should seek medical attention to rule out the possibility of cancer.

2. It could be a lymph node

The lump could be a lymph node which is an important part of the body’s immune system. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are located throughout the body and which get rid of toxins and dead blood cells. Note that lymph nodes can get swollen when dealing with many dead cells when you have a cold or an infection. Anyhow, you should check with your doctor to see if those are actually lymph nodes or something else.

3. It could be a cyst

Do you notice a small pea shape on your skin? It could be a cyst.  Cysts are sac-like pockets filled with fluid, pus, or other substances, and they can grow anywhere on your body or under your skin.

Cysts are painless, slow-growing, and non-cancerous, and can develop as a result of clogged oil glands, infection, or reaction to a foreign object such as earrings, etc. Usually, cysts disappear on their own, but if you notice that a cyst has been on your skin for too long, you can ask your doctor to drain it.

4. How to identify a cancer lump: Is that a lump on your breast?

Perhaps the first thing that crosses a woman’s mind when she notices a lump on her breast is “cancer.” But sometimes, these lumps, albeit hard at times, are painless and harmless. Those can be benign conditions such as cysts on your breast, but it’s still important to check with a doctor just in case. If you recently have been ignoring a lump on your breast and you notice that it’s taking too long to go away, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible.

5. Never ignore any lumps or bumps

Don’t ignore a lump, bump, or any unusual growth on your body for any reason. Early diagnosis of cancer or any other serious condition can increase your chances of recovery.  Your primary care physician will examine the location of the lump, check any additional symptoms, ask you questions about whether the lump is painful or not, and conduct an ultrasound scan to be sure. That was your list of how to identify cancer lump. Remember to always check with your doctor first.