Cysts and benign tumors

What are cysts and tumors?

Cysts are sac-like pockets that are filled with fluid, air, or other substances that can occur almost anywhere in the body. Most cysts are asymptomatic and benign, meaning they don’t cause any symptoms. However, sometimes a cyst may grow in a location that may cause symptoms, including pain. In polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), multiple cysts growing in the ovary are one of the symptoms of the disease. Breast cysts or lumps should be evaluated to make sure they are not another growth.


If treatment is needed, it typically involves draining the cyst through aspiration or surgery. Testing for malignancy is done if there are concerns.


Tumors are abnormal growths that can occur almost anywhere in the body. There are different names for the tumors depending on the size, shape, and location of where it is and what cells it contains. Not all tumors are malignant meaning cancerous. Most tumors are benign, meaning they are noncancerous. Benign tumors can cause pain by pressing against a nerve or blood vessel and may require medical intervention. In order to determine what type of tumor it is, a biopsy will need to be done. This can be a small sample or removal of the entire suspicious area and can be done with a needle or through surgery.