Learn and discuss the kinds of cysts. Cysts are tissue formations that can crop up anywhere in the human body. If the cyst is evident on the skin, it may initially resemble a boil that continues to grow. Cysts differ in terms of size; some are as tiny as a pea and others are so large that they are able to hold a significant volume of fluid or air. The main defining characteristic of a cyst is the presence of a closed sac with a protective membrane surrounding it. The division between the mass formation and the other normal tissues around the mass is clearly marked.
There are two general kinds of cysts: benign and malignant types.
A cyst is considered benign when the cells in it remain as they are or undergo cell death. Most of the time, cysts that develop in various parts of the body are benign. These are non-malignant tumors resulting from the plugging of ducts in between tissues and organs. Because secretions are not able to pass through the ducts, tissue coagulation arises.
Benign cysts are further categorized into several types, and the most common ones are sebaceous cysts, ovarian cysts and ganglion cysts. The differences between these kinds of cysts have a lot to do with the parts of the body where they occur, as well as the composition of the cyst.
Sebaceous cysts normally appear as lumps around the neck, face and torso regions. Initially, redness or swelling appears in one area, which could bring discomfort and itching. When the cyst becomes visible, a yellowish lump appears. When non-infected, the cyst contains keratin bodies and not sebum, despite its name. A sebaceous cyst can get infected because of its proximity to the external environment.
Ovarian cysts are found inside the ovary, particularly in menopausal women. Women with these kinds of cysts show symptoms such as pain in the pelvic region, nausea and abnormally frequent discharge of fluid from the vagina. The cyst is over two centimetres in diameter initially, but the size could increase. An ovarian cyst contains mostly fluid. Ganglion cysts, among the different kinds of cysts, are unique because they can be found in the extremities. Cysts or lumps in hands and the soles of the feet can be painful and itchy.
In some cases, these benign kinds of cysts become malignant and cancerous. Some sources hypothesize how introduction of toxins or pathogens contribute to the change in the cells inside the sac. Cysts that have the potential to become malignant are often referred to as neoplasms. Malignancy occurs when cells in the neoplasm or cyst begin invading neighboring cells in response to a chemical stimulus. Malignancy is characterized by continued invasion of some kinds of cysts even after the stimulus is gone.
Some kinds of cysts are present for months in the body, only to disintegrate on their own. Nevertheless, cysts are a cause of worry for most people because they may serve as indicators of a serious condition. When cysts are present, it means that something has gone wrong and this problem has led to abnormal tissue growth.