What Does A Cancer Lump Feel Like Hard Or Soft?

Oftentimes, individuals will feel a lump somewhere on their bodies and wonder what does a cancer lump feel like, hard or soft? While many lumps can be cancerous, not all are dangerous. Some are simply a lymph node or a skin cyst. Many soft lumps are not dangerous, but it never hurts to check with your physician if you are concerned.

Soft lumps

The characteristics of a lump that is most likely not cancerous include:

  • Soft to the touch
  • Easily able to be moved around and can change shape with touching
  • They may grow bigger
  • Soft lumps can become painful when the area is in use but shrink when you rest

Chances are if the lump you find has any of these attributes, it is not cancerous. These type of lumps can be found in almost any part of the body including the breasts, legs, arms, and more. Even though soft lumps are usually not cancer, it can help to ask your physician if they persist longer than a couple of weeks as they may be able to offer medical treatment or at least help to put your mind at ease.

What type of soft lumps are often found?

There are two forms of soft lumps that many people may find throughout their body.

Lymph Nodes--lymph nodes are usually about the size of a pea, sometimes bigger, that you can feel beneath your skin. Most often lymph nodes are found in the neck, groin area, under armpits, and even behind the collarbone. For example, if you suffer from a sore throat, you may find a lump under your jawbone, on your throat that is swollen. This is a lymph node. Once you begin to feel better, it usually disappears.

Skin Cysts--skin cysts are usually the size of a pea also, but are filled with pus, or fluid and can be felt beneath the skin. Skin cysts are not cancerous either, and often go away on their own or if they are large enough they can be drained by your doctor.

Hard lumps

The characteristics of a lump that could be a cause for concern include:

  • A hard lump which does not move when touched
  • Any lump that appears in the genital area or in the breasts for more than a few weeks
  • If the lump or growth feels like it is growing larger
  • Is not painful to the touch

Should you find a lump with any of these attributes, it could be a cause for concern. It may not always mean that it is cancerous, but should definitely be checked out. While the lump may not be malignant, it could still present medical problems. Malignant means it could be dangerous, incurable, and even fatal. Benign is the complete opposite of malignant; it isn't surprising to have a lump or bump that is benign.

Treatment of skin cysts and possible causes

Skin cysts are a frequent occurrence for individuals and they are not usually painful. They can be treated in a variety of different ways depending on their size or location on the body. For those skin cysts that do not heal on their own, the treatments include puncturing the cyst and the use of a scalpel for draining it. They can also be treated with a shot of cortisone which will cause it to shrink in size. The other alternative for those skin cysts that do not disappear by draining or with shots is to be removed surgically. Although many people believe they can treat these types of soft lumps on their own, it is always best to seek treatment with a medical professional. By doing so, the risk of infection or reoccurrence will be much lower.

While there are several different skin cysts that can occur, there are also some that do not normally require medical treatment and are the most common:

  • Epidermoid cysts--are similar to pimples. When squeezed, they will produce a pus-like liquid. These can be removed by a doctor if needed or should they continue to reoccur after they have been drained.
  • Cherry angiomas--are little red bumps which occur mostly on the trunk of the body, but can be found on other areas also. These small, red bumps occur more on people over the age of 40, and usually, do not cause any physical discomfort.
  • Dermatofibromas--are round brown, purple, or red growths that appear on the limbs and may change their color over time. Sometimes they can cause itching or irritation but are usually harmless with no need for medical treatment.
  • Folliculitis--this happens when there is a hair that has become inflamed from either shaving or by your clothing rubbing against an area of your skin. It can typically appear in a person that has diabetes, is obese, or their immune systems are compromised.

What does a cancer bump feel like, hard or soft?

Upon self-examination of your body, should you find a hard lump that seems irregular in shape, contact your physician for a consultation immediately. While it may not be a cancerous tumor or indicate that you have a certain type of cancer, it is always safer to have it diagnosed by a professional. This is especially true with women who find a strange lump on their breast, as it could indicate a tumor or breast cancer. An early diagnosis can help eliminate the need for intense medical treatment.

Keep in mind that the best way to find out if a lump is cancerous is to have it biopsied by your physician. Tumors, which can feel like hard little lumps, can turn cancerous and spread to other surrounding tissues or bones. Be sure not to panic should you come across either a hard or soft lump. There are hundreds of resources that can be researched if you need help in determining what you have found. The fact that not all lumps found on your body are dangerous should not deter you from seeking a medical opinion. You know your body better than anyone else, if something seems out of the ordinary, it is always best to contact a medical professional for their insight.