Cyst Diagnosis

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Doctor's View on Cyst Diagnosis

Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Depending upon the type and location of a cyst, diagnosis may be simple or difficult. Sometimes a cyst is visible as a lump or bump underneath the skin. Some ganglion cysts, sebaceous cysts, thyroid cysts, pilonidal cysts, and Baker cysts are examples of cysts that may be apparent on visual inspection and physical examination.

Imaging studies

Sometimes, cysts are diagnosed when imaging tests are being done for another reason or to investigate unexplained symptoms. CT and MRI scans can often reveal cysts even if they did not cause symptoms. For example, ovarian cysts or cysts of the kidneys, pancreas, or liver are typically not apparent on physical examination. Ultrasound examination can reveal cysts of the breasts or other organs.

Benign vs. malignant cysts

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