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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Lump on center of chest....

 nessanickisch - Sat May 21, 2005 7:07 am

I am writing to try and find an answer for my husband... he recently discovered a hard & painful lump on his sternum. There are no marks or discolorations, it's just normal skin-tone. He is currently deployed to Iraq and does not trust military doctors in the least (he has had multiple shoulder surgeries that didn't go well) and he really doesn't want to go to the doctor. I am trying to push him towards that.... but he wants to research first and see what the possibilities are.
Thank you in advance,
Vanessa Nickisch
 Lisa K, RN - Sat May 21, 2005 9:04 am

User avatar Hello there,

I'm sure this "finding" must be causing you both some stress.

What age is your husband?

Did he ever sustain any type of trauma to his sternum/chest area?

How big is this lump? The size of a pea? marble? grape? etc

Does he have any idea how long this lump has been there? Did it come on suddenly or maybe he just doesn't know?

When he touches the lumps....does it move freely with the skin or does it seem "attached" to the sternum below?

With any lump, it's realllllly the best idea to have it properly examined by a doctor......have some basic bloodwork done, have the lump biopsied. They could do a fine needle aspiration of the lump (remove some cells from within it, have them analyzed)....though some docs might be leary about doing this, 1) they're no 100% guarantee when you do a FNA that you're going to definitely hit the spot with the potentially abnormal cells....2) that sticking a needle into the lump could disrupt the cells and risk spreading them. In some cases, the entire lump is removed, taking some of the area around it (margins)...and then it's analyzed.

Is there any way he could get out of Iraq and be sent to one of the larger Military Hospitals in Germany to have this checked out properly? (I realize he's on a mission and leaving is likely a lot easier said than done). He should also have Chest xrays, for sure.

Where on his sternum is this lump?
 nessanickisch - Sat May 21, 2005 11:42 am

Thanks for your response.

My husband is 25 years old.

He is a mechanic and has had various cest traumas from dropping heavy things (like transmissions) on himself while laying under a vehicle, none recently though.

The lump is about one inch from side to side and about the height of two stacked quarters, located about two inches below where the collar bones meet the sternum.

He just noticed it this morning, it may have been there for awhile but he doubts that because it is painful to the touch.

The lumps is very hard but does have a little bit of movement. Not what would be called "moving freely" though.

Thanks Again ~ Vanessa
 Lisa K, RN - Sat May 21, 2005 12:06 pm

User avatar Hello again!

Thanks for the additional info.

I really think it's best for him to have this checked out by a doc, to err on the side of caution....and the sooner the better. No redness at all, hey? (which could indicate some kind of bug bite). How soon is his tour over?
 nessanickisch - Sat May 21, 2005 1:19 pm

His tour won't be over until at least Feb 06. I have convinced him to at-least talk to one of the medics but he wants to give it a couple days to see if anything changes first. I will post again if I get any new information. Thank you for your input!

and, no, there is no discoloration at all. :?:
 lanz - Tue May 24, 2005 12:34 pm

Hi Docs,

First of all, just want to say thanks to whoever put up this site. Have no idea how relieved i am to have found a medical site where i can discuss stuff with dotors. Anyway, I also have this lump located over my Xyphoid process. I only notice that lump when i first felt this slight pain last early April. Its slightly painful when pressed. Size of around 1 inch diameter, slightly off-centered towards the liver area, feels hard inside like a soft bone, and non moving. No discoloration, definitely not bug bites, no itchiness, it seems like its located many layers under the skin since when i move the skin around the lump stays fixed in that same location underneath. I'm a 29 year old currently working here in China, I went to the best hospital here in this part of the country, they told me that this is normal soft bone and nothing to worry about. They say test is not needed. That time i also complain to them about a slight pain inside the liver area so they ultrasound my upper abdominal area and told me there is slight inflamation of my gall bladder, but no gall stone found. I like to know if that lump is really nothing to worry about or is there any connection to the gall bladder inflamation problem? Because both problems occured same time. These past few weeks, with proper diet, the inflamation problem seems to have subsided, no more pain, but the lump is still there. The pain slight pain when pressed is still there. I checked my dad's he also has this lump, but my brother doesn't, and i know when i was a child i also don't have it.

Thanks in advance

 bnlowe - Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:47 am

Hi, I am writing in regards to my boyfriend of two years (whom is stubborn & won't go see a doctor). He has this lump the size of a grape in the center of his chest between the breast muscles on his sternum(not sure how to spell that). It is attached and does not move at all. The lump has been there for about three weeks and was sore & a little painful at first however now the soreness & pain has subsided. He has been short of breath for about two to three weeks as well. He is 25 & in reasonably good shape. He works construction therefore he is continuiously using his upper body muscles. Also, we noticed last night above the lump, located at the top of his right breast muscle is swollen also. He says that he has not hit or dropped anything on his chest, that the lump & swolleness just appeared. I am very concerned for him & his shortness of breath worries me tremendously. Any advice would be much appreciated!! Thank You for your time. :?
 Ace01 - Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:17 pm

Hey all,

It's been about a couple of months now that I've had a lump, about the size of a quarter about 2 inches from my collarbone. I noticed it one day when i heard a popping sound in my chest, kinda like the sound of cracking your knuckles. When it appears applying pressure on it, even the slightest amount, causes it to hurt. It feels as if there is pressure built up behind it, and when i manage to get it to pop it goes away, but a couple of day's later it will return. It does this atleast once a week. Any info on what is wrong with me would be greatly appreciative. I'm a 22yr old male. I smoke but I don't drink. Thanks in advance. :)
 TiredDad - Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:50 pm

I'm no doctor, but I get a lump on my sternum that comes and goes. It's related to costochondritis. When I get a flare-up, I take ibuprofin to reduce the inflammation of the cartilege. As far as previous chest trauma, I guess it can be something from many years ago. I determined that mine was caused by a car accident in 1979. THe condition started last year - after a series of stresses (overworking) to my chest area. WHen I get a pain flare-up - it sometimes radiates all the way down my last rib - which is exactly what was damaged in the car accident...and the pain seems to be mostly on the surface - rather than inside. Sensitive to touch. Again, a couple days of ibuprofin and it goes away. Get a professional opinion - for sure - but this is a possibilty. Moving transmissions could surely trigger this.
 MelinUtah - Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:30 pm

I have a red angry looking abcessed looking lump or bump on my sternum just below the breast line in midline. It has a crater in the middle filled with a white hard substance. I thought it was an abcess and had my spouse try to evacuate it, but initially it was far too painful to touch. I covered it with some medicated bandages for a couple of days and some ichthammol ointment to try drawing the pus out. That succeeded to some degree, he was able to evacuate a small amount of bloody pus-y fluid, but the white hard center still remains and it hurts as if I've been stabbed every time it is touched. What is this? Any information would be appreciated. I recently had a hernia repair of my umbilicus and this sore showed up about 5 days post-op, but I don't think they are related, as there was a hard white calcified sort of bump in the spot where the red raised bump is now.

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