A cyst is a closed, saclike structure that contains fluid, gas, or semisolid material and is not a normal part of the tissue where it is located. Cysts are common and can occur anywhere in the body in people of any age. Cysts vary in size; they may be detectable only under a microscope or they can grow so large that they displace normal organs and tissues. The outer wall of a cyst is called the capsule.
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Ganglion Cyst (Photo credit: Glenn E. Malone)
A collection of pus is called an abscess, not a cyst. Once formed, a cyst could go away on its own or may have to be removed through surgery.
*Acne cyst – Pseudocysts associated with cystic acne. Actually an inflammatory nodule with or without an associated epidermoid inclusion cyst.
*Arachnoid cyst (between the surface of the brain and the cranial base or on the arachnoid membrane)
*Baker’s cyst or popliteal cyst (behind the knee joint)
*Buccal bifurcation cyst
*Calcifying odontogenic cyst
*Chalazion cyst (eyelid)
*Choroid plexus cyst (brain)
*Cysticercal cyst (the larval stage of Taenia sp. (Crain’s backs))
*Dentigerous cyst (associated with the crowns of non-erupted teeth)
*Dermoid cyst (ovaries, testes, many other locations from head to tailbone)
*Epididymal cyst (found in the vessels attached to the testes)
*Ganglion cyst (hand/foot joints and tendons)
*Glandular odontogenic cyst
*Glial cyst (in the brain)
*Gartner’s duct cyst (vaginal or vulvar cyst of embryological origin)
*Hydatid cyst (larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus (tapeworm))
*Keratocyst (in the jaws, these can appear solitary or associated with the Gorlin-Goltz or Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. *The latest World Health Organization classification considers Keratocysts as tumors rather than cysts)
*Liver cystic disease
*Meibomian cyst (eyelid)
*Mucoid cyst (ganglion cysts of the digits)
*Nabothian cyst (cervix)
*Ovarian cyst (ovaries, functional and pathological)
*Paratubal cyst (fallopian tube)
*Periapical cyst (The periapical cyst, otherwise known as radicular cyst, is the most common odontogenic cyst.)
*Peritoneal cyst (lining of the abdominal cavity)
*Pilar cyst (cyst of the scalp)
*Pilonidal cyst (skin infection near tailbone)
*Renal cyst (kidneys)
*Polycystic ovary syndrome
*Pineal gland cyst
*Radicular cyst (associated with the roots of non-vital teeth, also known as Periapical cyst)
*Sebaceous cyst (sac below skin)
*Tarlov cyst (spine)
*Trichilemmal cyst – Same as a pilar cyst. A familial cyst of the scalp.
*Vocal fold cyst
Despite being described in 1938 as the microscopic appearance of cysts in the pancreas, cystic fibrosis is an example of a genetic disorder whose name is related to fibrosis of the cystic duct and does not involve actual cysts
Most cysts in the body are benign (dysfunctional) tumors, the result of plugged ducts or other natural body outlets for secretions. However sometimes these masses are considered neoplasm:
*Calcifying odotogenic cyst
Sometimes you can feel a cyst yourself when you feel an abnormal “lump.” For example, cysts of the skin or tissues beneath the skin are usually noticeable. Cysts in the mammary glands (breasts) also may be palpable (meaning that you can feel them when you examine the area with your fingers). Cysts of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by the affected individual.
Cysts can arise through a variety of processes in the body, including
#”wear and tear” or simple obstructions to the flow of fluid,
#chronic inflammatory conditions,
#genetic (inherited) conditions,
#defects in developing organs in the embryo.
Most cysts arise due to the types of conditions listed above and are only preventable to the extent that the underlying cause is preventable.
Cysts of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by the affected individual. These cysts often are first discovered by imaging studies (X-ray, ultrasound, computerized tomography or CAT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI). Cysts may or may not produce symptoms, depending upon their size and location.
The treatment for a cyst depends upon the cause of the cyst along with its location. Cysts that are very large and result in symptoms due to their size may be surgically removed. Sometimes the fluid contained within a cyst can be drained, or aspirated, by inserting a needle or catheter into the cyst cavity, resulting in collapse of the cyst. Radiologic imaging may be used for guidance in draining (aspirating) cyst contents if the cyst is not easily accessible. Drainage or removal of a cyst at home is not advised.
Surgical removal of a cyst is sometimes necessary. If there is any suspicion that a cyst is cancerous, the cyst is generally removed by surgery or a biopsy is taken of the cyst wall (capsule) to rule out malignancy. In certain cases, aspirated fluid from a cyst is examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present in the cyst.
If a cyst arises as part of a chronic medical condition (for example, in polycystic ovary syndrome or fibrocystic breast disease), treatment is generally directed at the underlying medical condition.
The majority of cysts are benign conditions and do not result in long-term or serious complications. However, cysts that are associated with malignancy or serious infections can have a poor prognosis.
Prevention of cyst formation is only possible to the extent to which prevention of the underlying cause of the cyst is possible. Most kinds of cysts are not preventable.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose