A granuloma is a medical condition characterized by a noncancerous inflammation in the tissue. Typically, it encompasses only a small part of the tissue, and a person with one usually does not experience any signs or symptoms. In fact, most are found through an x-ray that is performed for unrelated reasons. When found during an x-ray examination, the granuloma is often mistaken for cancer.
The majority of granulomas are the result of an injury to the tissue, particularly as the result of infection. They can occur in the lungs, and their most common cause there is a fungal infection called histoplasmosis. Other conditions associated with granuloma formation include berylliosis, syphilis, sarcoidosis, Crohn’s disease, tuberculosis, Churg-Strauss syndrome, and Wegener’s granulomatosis.
The granuloma that forms as the result of these conditions is generally a calcified granuloma. This type contains deposits of calcium and usually takes time to develop, which means that most have been present in the body for a very long time before they are identified.
Another form is the granuloma inguinale, which is a bacterial infection of the genital area. It's caused by a bacteria called Calymmatobacterium granulomatis, and mostly affects individuals living in tropical and subtropical regions, such as Guyana, Southeast India, and New Guinea. In addition, this sexually transmitted bacteria affects men more often than women, particularly homosexual males. An individual with this disease develops blisters or lumps in the genital region, which ultimately become open sores.
It is essential for granuloma inguinale to be treated right away, as it can cause a great deal of damage to the genitals and can spread to other areas of the body. In order to treat the condition, it is generally necessary to take antibiotics and to allow the area to heal for three to five weeks. In addition, a person who becomes infected is capable of catching the bacteria again at a later time.