Cysts are saclike structures that can occur throughout the body and usually contain a semisolid, liquid, or gaseous substance. Infections, tumors, genetic conditions, chronic inflammatory conditions, and wear and tear can cause cysts. Though some cysts may be palpable, others may not produce any symptoms. Treatment depends upon the location and cause of the cyst.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Cysts are common, closed saclike structures that contains fluid, gas, or semisolid material.
There are hundreds of different types of cysts.
Cysts can be located in all areas of the body.
Superficial cysts may be felt as an abnormal "lump" on the skin. Cysts of internal organs, such as the liver,
ovaries, kidneys, or pancreas, may not be noticed and may or may not produce symptoms. Cysts of internal organs may not be noticed and may or may not produce symptoms.
A number of different processes can result in cyst formation, including blockage of the flow of fluids, infection, trauma, tumors, congenital defects, and chronic inflammatory conditions.
The majority of cysts are benign, but certain cases can be associated with malignant tumors.
What is a cyst?
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
and cause symptoms. The outer wall of a cyst is called the
What are the causes of a cyst?
Cysts can arise through a variety of processes in the body, including
"wear and tear" or simple obstructions to the flow of
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.
Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on 9/24/2013
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containing fluid is present without evidence of infection.
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