***WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS IMAGES OF A VETERINARY PROCEDURE***
Skin lumps can range from harmless to serious and the problem is they can all look the same. All lumps should have diagnostic testing. This involves introducing a needle into the lump and harvesting cells to examine under a microscope (cytology). The cell types determine if the lump is due to infection, inflammation or cancer.
Some lumps may require surgical removal to get the diagnosis.
A small skin lump was found measuring approximately 5-10mm. A fine needle aspirate revealed mast cells. This lump is a mast cell tumour, a malignant cancer which requires surgical removal with wide surgical margins. This means removing tissue approximately 2-3cm around the lump as well as tissue deeper to the lump. The sample is sent for testing at an external laboratory to confirm the diagnosis and to ensure the entire tumour has been removed. In this case, the tumour was successfully removed with clean margins.
Lumps can all look the same whether they are innocent or nasty, so it is important to investigate ALL lumps.