Doctor's Notes on Cyst (Cysts)
Cysts are abnormal sac – like structures that usually contain gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substances and have an outer wall termed a capsule. Cysts can be found anywhere in the body and may range in size from microscopic to very large; cysts are usually named according to their location; for example, ovarian cysts, breast cysts, skin cysts – other cysts have special names such as Baker’s cyst, pilonidal cysts, ganglion cysts and many others as there are hundreds of different cyst types. Signs and symptoms of cysts generally are as follows: painless lumps or bumps just underneath skin, lumps or bumps that when touched may be hard or soft, with some small cysts producing no symptoms. The signs and symptoms of other cysts depend on the location, type and extent of the disease process the cysts may be associated with. For example, disease processes such as infections, tumors, chronic inflammatory conditions, and others, can lead to cyst development with variable signs and symptoms. Such cyst development itself can be a sign or symptom of an underlying disease process.
Causes of cysts can range from defects in embryonic development, normal wear and tear on joints and ligaments. Any organ or underlying disease process where the flow of body tissue fluid may be intermittently or permanently blocked can be the cause of cyst development.
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Bartholin's CystThe Bartholin's glands are located at the entrance to a woman's vagina, one on each side. They are small and cannot be seen or felt when they are normal. A Bartholin cyst occurs when one of these glands become infected and fills with fluid. Bartholin cysts can be caused by several bacteria, including Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Escheria coli. Often more than one type of organism causes the bacteria.
Breast Lumps and PainBreast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of breast pain and other breast changes. Causes of pain and lumps can include fibrocystic breast disease, premenstrual syndrome, cyclic mastalgia, normal hormonal fluctuations, onset of puberty or menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, estrogen therapy, chest wall tenderness, injury to the breast, shingles, use of certain medications, an infection in the breast, and breast cancer. If you have a lump in your breast, your doctor will check for various possible causes.
EndometriosisEndometriosis is a disease in which abnormal endometrial cells grow outside of the uterus and other organs commonly found in the pelvic area. Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms, but others with the disease may experience pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and during pelvic exams, cramping during sex, bowel movements, or while urinating. The four stages of endometriosis are minimal, mild, moderate, and severe. Medications and surgery are treatments for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a chronic condition and there is no cure.
Ganglion Cyst Symptoms, Pain Relief, Treatment, and RemovalA ganglion cyst is a swelling or tumor on a joint or tendon sheath. Ganglionic cysts form on the elbow, knee, foot, shoulder, wrist, toe or finger. Symptoms and signs include a mass that changes in size, is somewhat painful, and the pain is made worse by joint motion. Though many ganglion cysts disappear on their own, cysts may be treated by aspirating the cyst's contents or surgical removal.
Ovarian CystsThere are several different types of ovarian cysts (noncancerous growths). Follicular, corpus luteum, hemorrhagic, dermoid, endometrioid (endometriomas), polycystic-appearing ovary, and cystadenoma. There are a variety of causes of ovarian cysts. Some are previous history, irregular menses, increased upper body fat, early menses, infertility, hypothyroidism, or side effect of medication. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, pain after sex, urination, or bowel movements, nausea, or vomiting. Treatment depends upon the cause of the ovarian cyst.
Pilonidal CystA pilonidal cyst is a cyst that forms near the top of the buttocks. Symptoms and signs include pain, redness, warmth, swelling, fever, and drainage of pus. Treatment of the pilonidal cyst requires incision and drainage under local anesthesia.
Thyroid NodulesThyroid nodules are lumps that are either solid or fluid-filled. Thyroid nodules may be benign or malignant (cancerous). Thyroid nodules may be caused by goiters, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, thyroid cysts, benign thyroid tumors, malignant thyroid tumors, or thyroid cancer. Treatment depends upon the type and cause of the thyroid nodule.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.