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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cancer Topics

Question: abnormal shaped lump under skin on top of rib cage

 nanzabar - Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:57 am

I am a 28 y/o female. I have had my appendix removed. My first cousin has lukemia, my grandfather diabetes, otherwise family medical history is ok.
I have been having pain in my side for about two weeks, about two inches down from my left breast on top of my ribs. I thought it might be a bruise or something but there was no sign of bruising. It has continued to ache of and on. Two days ago i noticed there are some small broken blood vessels around the area that hurts there is also now a lump that is about 3inches long and as wide as an earth worm on top of my rib cage. I went to the er last night because it is impossible to get a drs. apt(military health care) and was diagnosed as muscular skelatol strain or something, basically a pulled muscle. Although I have not been doing anything to pull a muscle and the pain just started out of nowhere one night. Also pulled muscles are most common in legs arms and back and this is on top of my rib cage. It hurts all the time not terribly bad but a constant pain. and tylenol and ib profen don't seem to make the pain go away. i have been really tired lately, more then nomral. It seems rather odd to have such a weird shape lump, feels like a big vein or a worm like lump, even the doctor was like, i have never felt anything quite like that before. Just wondering if I should worry about it, or how long should I wait before i demand further investigation. thanks. Rhiannon
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:45 pm

Dear nanzabar,

So you feel it on your rib cage ,2 inches down your left breast? ,well, can you do a simple chest X-ray ,just to see if it is of a bony origin or not? is the lump hard like a bone ,firm like the tip of your nose or soft like your ear lobe?

Best regards,
 nanzabar - Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:08 pm

the lump feels like cartlidge i guess, kind of like scar tissue? not soft or plyable but definately not hard like bone. It runs vertical too. Like a line down my rib cage. Also now there is some swelling not just in the area with the lump but also towards the front top of my left rib cage just before the ribs connect to the chest bone. Just swollen on that side. Also I have been having sharp pains, shooting pains in the area with the lump but they go through my left brest. Also the lump is kind of lumpy? And extremely painful to the touch or pressure, like if i lay on my left side it is uncomfortable. But when i am walking or sitting it is less uncofortable like a gass feeling. Except when the sharp pains happen. I work for a couple of nurses and they said the lump feels really strange and the doctor I saw said he had never felt anything quite like it.
 nanzabar - Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:49 am

there is another lump where the new swelling is. this lump is round. so now there are two lumps 1-2 inches apart. one is vertical runnning just under my left breast but on the side of my rib cage the other is in front of my rib cage.
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:05 am

Dear nanzabar,

And you don't have any lumps in your left breast or underneath your armpit? you have one of two choices since your doctor has never felt anything like it and he doesn't know its nature... we can do a needle biopsy...where the doctor goes with a needle inside it and aspirate its content ,then look it up under the microscope...if he suspects something he can do a CT scan of the chest or the other way around...CT-scan and if he suspects something, he'd go for the biopsy,ok?

Painful lumps almost always indicates that there is an inflammation process going on, but that is not a definative rule.

Keep me updated and good luck,
Best regards,
 nanzabar - Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:16 pm

ok. i can't feel any other lumps, in my armpit or breast. But there is definatly something going on cause it still hurts and has been about 3 weeks, with increased swelling and pain. i have a doctors apt. on the 23rd, so we shall see what they say. I heard that tumors don't usually cause pain, is this true? And could a tumor be shaped like a pencil? and could it be a cyst of some sort? ok thanks.
 nanzabar - Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:00 am

they are calling it costochondritis. and inflamation of the cartlidge. the doc still wasn't sure about the pencil lump, probably tissue or something. i have an actually doctor apt. on the 23rd, so hopefully they will look into it a little more.

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