Lump vs. Lesion--Any Difference?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/29/2004 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
To reintroduce myself, I know many of you from the old ivillage board.  Glynne and I would come over from ovarian cancer to be with you.
A friend had a suspicious mammogram and followup sonogram and has now been told she has a lesion.  She will see a surgeon next week for biopsy.
This dear woman has fought leukemia for a long time and recently had some more cytoxan to keep her in remission.
Is there a difference between a lump and a lesion?  I'm afraid for her and have her on two prayer lists.
Thanks.  For those who remember me--after 14 months of chemo my CA125 went into normal range; at 16 months, I have everything crossed that with one last cycle of chemo in December I can be in my third remission from ovarian. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 11/29/2004 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
That is a question I have pondered in the past, but have never thought to ask. What IS the medical definition of a lesion? Any of you wonderful medical people care to enlighten us?

Thanks for asking that question here!

And congrats on the THIRD remission. What an inspiriation. May this one last for many years!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 11/29/2004 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   

Good question...I am not sure either. I always thought a 'lesion' refers to basically something that is there that should not be there.  They use that term to describe a cancer spreas to other organs, and technically it may not be a lump....they use that term with evaluating brain damage too...when looking for signs of stroke or seizure.  This is my undeducated guess, based on the context in which I have heard it used.

A 'lump' would definitively describe a lesion as a lump, as opposed to a nick or other mark. 

When describing something in the breast, I would think a 'lesion' could mean a tumor, cyst or even micro-calcs...I do not think lesion automatically means cancer, since I have heard it used for other diagnoses too.

And hugs to you too!


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 11/29/2004 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
We used to use the terms interchangeably. Basically, the radiologists (who are LOOKING at films) see a "lesion." Other docs, are FEELING something and call it a "lump." The docs don't FEEL "lesions," with respect to breast lumps.
Hope this helps.
Hugs, Michele
I am neither made or unmade by happenings around me, but by my reaction to them.
May this disease NEVER be allowed to take another wife, mother, daughter, sister, lover or friend........
I cannot control the wind, but I CAN adjust my sails 
You can choose to look UP or DOWN--it's all about putting perfume on a pig. It is still a pig and it STILL stinks, but it stinks BETTER!
Breast Cancer Chronicle Demystifying BC, one step at a time

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/30/2004 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your replies.  I'm still quite worried about her of course.  I would refer her here if she were diagnosed, but I am so hoping that I don't have to. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 11/30/2004 1:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Michele's answer was the one I would have given, too. Please come back and tell us about your friend's diagnosis and do tell her to come here if she needs us. Hugs MK

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