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Back lump Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Back lump. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you noticed the lump in your back?

    Why: to determine if back lump is congenital(born with it) e.g. spina bifida , acute or chronic.

  2. Have you noticed any change in the lump?

    Why: e.g. size, colour, shape, surface, border.

  3. Have you noticed any similar or other lumps on other parts of body?

    Why: may indicate lymph node involvement of melanoma; may indicate lipoma or cyst which may be multiple in number.

  4. Pregnancy history?

    Why: if suspect spina bifida in a child ask about folate supplementation in pregnancy , dietary history or past history of child with spina bifida, family history of spina bifida.

  5. Past medical history?

    Why: of cancers that may spread to bones e.g. breast, lung , thyroid, kidney, bladder, prostate and colorectal; tuberculosis.

  6. Previous levels of sun exposure and sunburn?

    Why: may indicate risk of skin cancers.

  7. Family history?

    Why: of melanoma or other skin cancers.

  8. When did you first notice the back lump?

    Why: The time period that you have had the back lump can have an influence on its potential diagnosis.

  9. Where exactly have you noticed the lump?

    Why: The location of the back lump can have an affect on its likely diagnosis or nature. For instance lumps which are located more towards the midline may be as a result of a dermoid cyst.

  10. How did you notice the back lump?

    Why: The exact mechanism of how you came to find the lump/s on your back can give some indication of its nature, and also if it is causing you any additional symptoms or functional disability.

  11. Can you describe it for me?

    Why: The way that you describe it can be important in assisting your health professional to reach an accurate diagnosis and formulate an appropriate management plan.

  12. Has it changed at all? For instance has it gotten bigger?

    Why: If your back lump has changed at all then this may be important in determining what it is, or what has caused it. It is very important for you to tell your health professional if there has been any increase or change in size/shape of the back lump.

  13. Have you noticed any lumps anywhere else, or have you ever had any before?

    Why: Lumps in other bodily locations can indicate that you have a systemic condition such a neurofibromatosis/von Recklinghausen's disease or multiple lipomas. Alternatively the presence of additional lumps may indicate lymphadenopathy or spread of cancer metastasis. If have ever experienced lumps of a similar nature either on your back or in other location, then the diagnosis and management performed at that time may be very important. Some lumps can tend to recur, even in different locations. These can include sebaceous cysts.

  14. Is the back lump tender or painful?

    Why: This can give an indication that the back lump is the result of an inflammatory condition, and also that you have pain which may require management as well.

  15. Have you ever traveled overseas? If so, where did you travel and when?

    Why: There are a great many conditions which can be endemic to quite specific areas of the world. Whilst you may not live in one of those areas, travel to those areas can place you at risk of contracting locally rare conditions causing back lumps. It can be very easy for any travel you have undertaken to them to be simply overlooked.

  16. How have you been feeling otherwise?

    Why: If you have been feeling unwell or experiencing systemic symptoms such as fever, myalgia, rigors, malaise, or coryza, then it may indicate that either your back lump has undergone systemic involvement, or you have a systemic condition which has caused your back lump. In either case, systemic features are important and may indicate that you require active treatment.

  17. Local Pain associated with lump

    Why: may indicate bone cancer, bone metastasis, pathological fracture of the vertebrae associated with bone tumor or skeletal tuberculosis.

  18. Leg pain

    Why: may indicate compression of spinal cord or nerve roots by bone tumor.

  19. Numbness in lower limbs

    Why: may indicate compression of spinal cord or nerve roots by bone tumor.

  20. Bleeding
  21. Itch
  22. Ulceration
  23. Fever

    Why: may indicate abscess, tuberculosis.

  24. Symptoms of spina bifida?

    Why: leg paralysis , sensory loss in feet and buttocks, urinary symptoms, bowel symptoms.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Back lump:

The following list of conditions have 'Back lump' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Back lump or choose View All.

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