November 25, 2015
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Cyst facts

  • Cysts are closed sac-like or capsule structures that may be filled with semisolid material, gaseous material, or liquid.
  • There are several causes of cysts, including genetic, infectious, and other causes that result in hundreds of types of cysts.
  • Risk factors for developing a cyst are related to the underlying causes of the cyst formation.
  • Most cysts are asymptomatic and have no signs. However, some cysts on the skin, mucous membranes, and those located in palpable organs often can be felt as a lump or bump; sometimes they are painful.
  • Some cysts may produce symptoms related to the organs in which they are located (for example, liver, pancreas, or kidneys).
  • It's possible to diagnose cysts by palpation, ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and needle biopsies.
  • Most cysts do not require treatment, however, physicians may use needle aspiration or surgical removal to treat some cysts.
  • Check with a doctor before trying home remedies to remove cysts.
  • The prognosis for most cysts is good; a few cysts that contain malignant cells have a more guarded prognosis.
  • Most cysts are not preventable; those that are preventable are usually related to infectious causes.

What is a cyst?

A cyst is a closed capsule or sac-like structure, usually filled with liquid, semisolid, or gaseous material. Cysts usually occur within almost any type of the body's tissue; they vary in size from microscopic to large structures that can displace internal organs. Although cysts can also refer to any normal bag or sac formation in the body, in this article, we will use the definition stated above and consider it to be an abnormal formation. Consequently, the cysts discussed below are not normal parts of the body. They have distinct membranes or cyst walls. If the sac is filled with pus, it is usually considered an abscess, not a cyst.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/28/2015


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