Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School


When to Call A Doctor

Make an appointment to see a doctor whenever you notice an abnormal growth or swelling anywhere on your body. If you think you may have an inflamed skin cyst or a Bartholin's gland cyst in your vagina, use warm compresses and acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation until you can see your doctor. Sometimes, these early steps are enough to treat the problem. If you have diabetes call your doctor the same day you notice signs of infection because you are at risk of having the infection spread.

If you are a woman, contact your doctor immediately if you experience sharp, sudden pain in your lower abdomen or upper pelvis or you have abdominal pain with a fever. You may have a ruptured ovarian cyst, but it also could be appendicitis. New breast lumps should be evaluated promptly by a doctor.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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