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How can you tell if a small lump is cancerous?
Dec 24, 1999

Dr. Feinberg,

I have a small lump in my groin area which my doctor has dismissed as a sebaceous cyst. However, because I have been misdiagnosed several times before with other ailments (including HIV/AIDS), I would like your opinion. How can you tell a canerous lump from a benign one?

Thank you!

Response from Dr. Feinberg

There are some clues related to the lump's size, shape, smoothness, movability, hardness etc, but the only 100% certain way to know is to have a tissue or needle biopsy. In many cases experienced clinicians can make a good judgment about whether a lump is something to worry about or not. If you're anxious about this even though your doctor has reassured you, then you can request that it be looked into further.

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