You’ve found a lump. After just a moment with Dr Google, you have self-diagnosed yourself with the worst stage cancer in existence.

We’ve all been there.

With all of life’s opportunities and fun to be had out there, none of us want our lives to be cut short. So we end up panicking more than we should about things that may need not panicking about.

So when do you need to worry? And when don’t you?

Most lumps are not a cause for concern and I’ve put together some handy points for you – to put your mind at rest!

Though I should point out that nothing should take the place of a routine GP appointment if you do have any genuine concerns.

The main things to look for are as follows:

• Is it soft?
• Can you move it?
• Can you change the form of it when you touch it?
• Is it large and painful but gets smaller with rest?

If a lump has any of these characteristics, it’s not usually a serious problem.

Let’s focus on three different types of lumps and bumps:

Lymph nodes
These are found in many parts of the body but usually in the neck, groin, armpits and collarbone areas. They move around and are small lumps the size of peas. These are meant to be there as they serve a really handy purpose in your body. They get rid of toxins and dead blood cells. You will often notice them more if you’re feeling under the weather. This is because your body, when you’re unwell, has lots of a dead cells to deal with so your lymph nodes are under a lot of pressure and can swell as a result. Usually within a week or two, lymph nodes will reduce back to their usual size. If they don’t, pop along to seek advice from your GP.

Cysts on the skin
Cysts are also like little peas under the skin. Again they are non-cancerous. They often present themselves due to infection, clogged pores or a foreign body getting lodged somehow. They are usually painless and feel smooth when touched. They often disappear of their own accord. If not, and they’re bothering you, book a GP appointment for further intervention.

Breast lumps
Many women can find lumps in their breast during self-examination. It is a very common occurrence and breast tissue is often lumpy so it can be hard to differentiate between normal and abnormal.

Breast lumps are often hard and can be painful or painless. There are a variety of breast conditions that can cause lumps and it’s important not to worry and think the worst.

To put your mind at rest, it’s always a good idea to go and visit your GP if you notice any changes in your breasts.

So remember, lumps and bumps can be completely normal and often just a sign of your body’s natural defences. But if you are worried or notice a significant change, just book an appointment with your GP. You are important so always put your health first.

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