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What is a nodule?

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Quick Answer

A nodule is an abnormal growth that can form within the layers of the skin or on other organs in the body, according to Healthline. A nodule may consist of inflamed tissue or fluids.

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Full Answer

Skin nodules are generally small. Nodules that form on organs may come in various sizes, and locations may include lungs, thyroid glands, underarms and groin areas. Nodules are usually benign, but some are cancerous, says Healthline. Nodules may occur due to excessive hormones, tissue overgrowth, mineral deficiencies, injuries or cancer. Nodules can also be hereditary.

Diagnosis of nodules involves blood tests, and in some cases, it may also call for a biopsy, states Healthline. Benign nodules that do not cause any discomfort may not necessitate treatment and may go away on their own. If hormonal issues are the cause of a nodule, the doctor may prescribe medications to control the production of the hormones and reduce the size of the nodule. Cancerous nodules may require treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgical removal.

Some nodules can be painful or disruptive. For example, nodules in the throat area may cause difficulties in swallowing, breathing and sleeping. They may also affect the vision or the voice. These nodules require immediate medical attention. Other nodules may appear to be harmless, but nevertheless, professional investigation is important, and individuals with nodules anywhere on their body should see a doctor, advises Healthline.

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