Lubricate Your Way to an Elusive Lump

July 1, 2008

It is often difficult to find a small lump or subcutaneous lesion reported by a patient.

It is often difficult to find a small lump or subcutaneous lesion reported by a patient. To optimize my chances of doing so, I first try the basics-using the pads of my fingers (instead of the tips) and maintaining contact with the skin as much as possible. A trick that makes it even more likely that I will find an elusive lump is to apply a small amount of water-soluble lubricant (warm if possible) to the finger pads of my gloved hand. This makes it easier to maintain contact and helps my fingers glide more smoothly over the skin, making the search more comfortable for the patient.

- Ken Pardoe, MS, PA-C 
     Severn, Md

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