The small outgrowth or pouch kind of lump found beneath the skin is known as the cyst, while a tumour is an abnormal growth or mass or swelling of tissues. Identifying lump or bump under the skin area is quite disturbing, but these are not always harmful. The two most common types of lumps are cyst and tumours.
Though it is difficult to differentiate them, as these are found almost in same places of the body like one can have ovarian cysts as well as ovarian tumours.
With the development of medical science and in-depth research in this field, it was found that these two terms have few critical discriminations between them.
Sometimes it is hard to conclude even for medical professionals that whether it is a cyst or a tumour. But there are few tests of the lumps performed under medical supervision which can quickly determine the cyst and the tumour and will provide the best treatment to get rid of these life-threatening medical conditions.
Though it is advisable that one should immediately visit doctors, whenever the person feels any swollen or red lump, continuous itching, bleeding from the lump, etc.
On the way of highlighting the points which distinguish between the cyst and the tumour, their occurrence, causes and diagnosis. We are also discussing them in detail in this article.
Content: Cyst Vs Tumors
|Basis for Comparison||Cyst||Tumor|
|Meaning||A cyst is a pouch or a sac-like an outgrowth present in any part of the body, filled with fluid, air or other materials.||A tumour is the result of the continuous cell divisions even when not needed by the body and its results in the formation of the lump. These lumps are the collection of the tissues. Tumours can be benign or malignant.|
|Causes ||1.Different medical conditions, genetic conditions. |
2.When dead cells multiply, instead of falling off.
3. Injury or irritation in the hair follicle.
4.Ovulation, infections, chronic inflammatory conditions.
5. Degeneration of tissues of the connective joints.
6. Defects during the development of the embryo.
|1. Abnormal cell growth.
2. Survival of the old and damage cell.
3. Formation and multiplication of the new cells, even when not required by the body.
|Cancerous/ Non-Cancerous||The cyst is mostly non-cancerous.||Tumours can be benign or malignant, that is they can be noncancerous or cancerous.|
|Occur in||The cyst may occur in any part of the body even in soft tissues, skin, bones and organs.||Tumours can also occur in the parts like tissues, skin, bones and organs.|
|Examined through/Diagnosis||1.By physical exam as cyst look smooth on touching and in imaging.|
3. Diagnostic images like MRI, CT scans, ultrasounds and mammograms.
4. Fine needle aspirations ( which is done to check the kind of fluid is present inside the lump).
|1.By physical exam, the lump which is formed due to tissues ahs solid component instead of air or liquid than it can be the tumour, which is either benign or malignant.
2. The biopsy is the best method to diagnose in both the case.
3. Diagnostic images like MRI, CT scans, ultrasounds and mammograms.
|Treatment||Generally, there is no need of treatment of the cyst, until and unless they are painful. In such cases, the doctors drain out the fluid present inside the lump. But there is the risk of reoccurrence of the cyst.||Malignant or cancerous tumours requires various therapy like radiation or chemotherapy or combinations of these, and if possible the surgical removal of the organ is also done. Likewise, the cyst, benign tumours also do not requires any treatment, until and unless they are not causing problems in the nearby areas.|
Definition of Cyst
A cyst can be defined as the small lump or bump or sac of tissues filled with air, liquid or semi-solid material. A cyst can appear in any part of the body. Mostly cyst is non-cancerous, and treatment depends on various factors like location of the cyst, whether the cyst is infected or not, type of the cyst.
The cyst can be small or large. These are often named after the area or organ they are found in like the vaginal cyst, pancreatic cyst, kidney cyst, breast cyst, liver cyst, pancreatic cyst, skin cyst, thyroid cysts.
The cyst is among commonly occurring abnormality in people of any group, area and age. There are around a hundred different types of the cyst and may occur due to various medical issues. Few common names of cyst are the Sebaceous cyst, Ganglion, Breast cyst, Epidermoid cyst, Chalazia, Ovarian cyst, Pilonidal cyst, Cystic acne, Baker’s cyst, Nabothian cyst, Dermoid cyst.
Small blockages in the flow of body fluid or wear and tear or even small defects during the embryonic development can be the reason for the cyst formation. Infections, inherited disease, chronic inflammation, tumours are the risk factors of the cyst. The cyst can be easily treated by the general physicians, or by the surgeon, though it depends on the size of it.
Definition of Tumours
A tumour is not the same as cancer, these words are used interchangeably sometimes, but they variate in many aspects. Tumours can be defined as abnormal growth of the mass of tissue, due to continuous division and growth of the cell. The cell growth is rapid and in an uncontrolled way which results in accumulation of the abundance of cell in an area and forms an enlarged morbid or swelling.
The synonym of a tumour is the neoplasm, but not of cancer. Though some tumour can be cancerous too, due to the potential of the cell present in it, which can metastasize (metastatic property) and spread from one place to another and the unconditional growth and division. Tumours can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Benign Tumors – It is the non-cancerous type of a tumour. The cells of this tumour do not spread or invade the nearby tissue. Though they can be harmful if they affect the nerves and blood vessels. The reason for occurring benign tumour can be due to long-term infection, exposure to radiations, stress, diet, etc.
Likewise, the cyst, Benign tumours also do not need any treatment, until they are not harmful to the nearby tissues or creating any problem. The standard treatment for such tumour is the surgery, which targets to remove a tumour without harming the nearby tissues and organs. Fibromas, Adenomas, Lipomas, Hemangiomas, Meningiomas, Myomas, Nevi (moles), Neuromas, Papillomas, Osteochondromas are few types of benign tumours.
Malignant tumours – Malignant tumours are the cancerous tumours and can be life threatening too. They have high resistant to any treatment and have the potential to spread to any part of the body (metastasis) and have higher chances of reoccurring. The cells in this type divide in an uncontrolled manner and abnormally.
There is grade system, which classifies a tumour which includes GX; G1; G2; G3; G4. In GX the cell differentiation is not clear, in G1 grade the cell division is appropriately visible, in G2 the cells are differentiated and is the medium grade, G4 is the high grade and cells division is so high that they are poorly differentiated and in G4 the cells are undifferentiated and are the highest grade.
The diagnosis and treatment are based on the area or location of a tumour in the body. Diagnosis is done by using tumour markers and other imaging techniques. Treatment like chemotherapy, surgery or radiations and other care is given to the patient. Germ cell tumour, Sarcoma, Carcinoma, Blastoma are some of the malignant tumours.
Key Difference Between Cyst and Tumors
Given the below points are the critical one to distinguish the two very known medical terms which are cyst and tumours:
- Whenever the person detects any lump in any area of the body, it can be a cyst or a tumour. A cyst is a pouch or sac-like outgrowth which is filled with fluid, air or other materials and is soft to touch. On the other hand, a tumour is the result of the continuous cell divisions even when not needed by the body and its results in the formation of the lump. These lumps are the collection of the tissues. Tumours can be benign or malignant.
- Causes of cyst can be different for different peoples like their medical conditions, when dead cells multiply, instead of falling off, any type of injury or irritation in the hair follicle, ovulation and degeneration of tissues of the connective joints. While in the case of a tumour the fundamental cause is the abnormal cell growth, survival of the old and damage cell and importantly formation and multiplication of the new cells, even when not required by the body.
- The cyst is mostly non-cancerous, while tumours can be benign or malignant, that is they can be noncancerous or cancerous.
- Cyst and tumours, both may occur in any part of the body even in soft tissues, skin, bones and organs.
- Cyst and tumours can be examined through Biopsy which is the best method to diagnose in both the case or diagnostic images like MRI, CT scans, ultrasounds and mammograms. These can be identified by physical exam as cyst look smooth on touching and in imaging, and the lump which is formed due to tissues has solid component instead of air or liquid than it can be a tumour, which is either benign or malignant. Fine needle aspirations ( which is done to check out what kind of fluid is present inside the lump)
- Commonly cyst is not advised to get medically treated, until and unless they are painful. In case of pain the doctors drain out the fluid present inside the lump, but there is the risk of reoccurrence of the cyst. On the contrary malignant or cancerous tumours requires various therapy like radiation or chemotherapy or combinations of these, and if possible the surgical removal of the organ is also done. Likewise, the cyst, benign tumours also do not requires any treatment, until and unless they are not causing problems in the nearby areas.
From the above article, we came to know that the terms like cyst and tumours are different and one should not get confused. Though in the era we are living and evolving day by day and we find a lump or a bump in any part of the body it can be scary. But it is always suggested that one should immediately visit doctors for the proper diagnosis and medications.