In my body, there are several masses which I have been using to teach patients and medical students in detecting dominant masses.
I have a mass on my left forearm about 2 cm which has been present for more 20 years now. My diagnosis on the forearm dominant mass is lipoma.
I also have a mass on the neck about 1 cm which has been present for more than 20 years also and my diagnosis is an nonspecific lymphadenopathy.
If there is a need to explain and illustrate a dominant mass to the patients and to the students and if there is no other patient around with dominant masses to illustrate, I have been using myself for the teaching purpose. I will ask the patients and students to feel the dominant masses on my forearm and neck.
When asked why I don’t have the masses removed, I always say I like to use them for teaching purposes – handily teaching my patients and students on dominant masses, soft tissue masses, lipoma, and lymph nodes and making sure they know what dominant masses are.
Case in point – today, November 15, 2018, I had a preceptorial class of 11 medical students from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. There were no actual patients provided for the students to palpate a dominant mass. What I did was to subject myself to be palpated by the 11 medical students (11 students palpating my forearm dominant mass and 11 students palpating my neck dominant mass). Needless to say, the students learned first hand what a dominant mass is.