We all have physical shortcomings that can make us self conscious. Even the biggest celebrities and supermodels need professional hair, makeup, and computer assistance to look flawless. But more important than how we look, is our health.
One young man began to find small lumps developing under his skin, all over his body. They had started to appear while he was in college, and had caused him great concern, as he was worried they may some sort of cancer. If you have noticed these same types of lumps on you or a loved one, you need to read this.
Shawn had been living with these curious lumps since college. He had sought the care of a number of doctors, hoping to find out what they were and how they could be treated.
The strange lumps defied diagnosis however. Some were hard, others, extremely soft. Doctors grasped at straws trying to give him some idea of what it was that was afflicting him. Their medical opinions ranged from calcium buildups to cysts. The one thing they could agree on, thankfully, was that he did not have any type of cancer.
While that was good news, he spent years living with the unsightly lumps. And they got progressively worse. The lumps grew both in numbers and in size. This caused him to resign himself to always wearing long sleeved shirts to hide them.
Shawn’s wife began to worry that they may indeed be cancerous, and was desperate to help her husband. Finally, she contacted the popular syndicated television show “The Doctors” on his behalf.
The show invited Shawn to come in for a consultation with well known dermatologist Sonia Batra. In Dr. Batra, Shawn and his wife finally found the answers that they had been so desperately seeking for so long.
Dr. Batra had seen this very disorder before, however not to the extent that he was exhibiting. The size, frequency, and location of the lumps were unusual, but Dr. Batra was still able to diagnose them.
What Shawn suffered from was a relatively innocuous, but unsightly condition known as lipoma, which causes the unchecked growth of fatty tissue. Shawn had a rare and extreme case of it due to the sheer size and number, but it turned out that he could have them taken out pretty easily if he wished it.
The best news of all? They can be easily removed without too much pain or negative side effects. Usually, treatment of a lipoma is not necessary, unless the tumor becomes painful or restricts movement. They are usually removed for cosmetic reasons, if they grow very large, or for histopathology to check that they are not a more dangerous type of tumor such as a liposarcoma. This last point can be important as the characteristics of a “bump” are not known until after it is removed and medically examined.
Lipomas are normally removed by simple excision. The removal can often be done under local anesthetic, and takes less than 30 minutes. This cures the great majority of cases, with about 1–2 percent of lipomas recurring after excision. Liposuction is another option if the lipoma is soft and has a small connective tissue component. Liposuction typically results in less scarring; however, with large lipomas it may fail to remove the entire tumor, which can lead to regrowth.
Do you or someone you know suffer from strange lumps under the skin like Shawn did? Make sure to contact a doctor to have them examined, and share your story with us here.