Masses are assessed by shape, margin and density. The shape may be round, oval, irregular or lobulated, and the margin (or surface) may be smooth, obscured (by surrounding tissue), indistinct or spiculated. Any of these may be hyper-, iso- or hypodense. Benign lesions tend to be round or oval and well-defined, whereas malignancies tend to be irregular in shape and outline and are often hyperdense. A low-density lesion suggests fat and is usually benign, e.g. oil cyst, lipoma, galactocoele. Lymph nodes often have a distinct appearance due to the fatty centre or hilum.

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