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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cancer Topics

Question: Tumor or cyst?

 jarik - Tue Jun 17, 2003 11:54 am

Just recently I noticed a lump on my sternum, at the Xeophidia(?). I am recovering from a bad sunburn on my chest and didn't notice it before the burn. I'm just wondering if this is a cyst, the beginnings of a tumor, or am I just worrying about nothing and not paying enough attention to my body? After looking at pictures of the skeletal anatomy, it doesn't look like I should have a lump. I know I should probably have a doctor look at this, but I was hoping that maybe I could get some insight from this webpage first. The lump feels hard right now and doesn't hurt. Thanks for any help.

 Dr. Russell M - Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:46 pm

User avatar Hi!

I see you are referring to your xiphoid process/xiphisternum (the lower end of your central chest bone) where a new mass has come up. It could be a benign osteoma, but a biopsy should help nail the diagnosis.

 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:26 pm

User avatar Dear jarik,
As bill said it could be a benign swelling, however careful history and examination are extremely important in your case to exclude any other possibilities and to determine the need for further investigations.
More details about the swelling could help, is it associated with any signs of trauma (bruises, ecchymosed path, a trauma can pass unnoticed). Is there any sign of inflammation (redness, oedema, usually painful ). Is it increasing in size, decreasing , stable? Did you lose weight the last few month may be u just noticed an old swelling because you have lost some weight.
Is it mobile can u make it move a little bit (bone masses are fixed, skin or subcutaneous masses move).
Hope to hear from you soon.
 jarik - Tue Jun 17, 2003 3:07 pm

The "lump" is definitely soft tissue. And to say it is a lump maybe wrong, because it only feels raised in a 2 in. section following the sternum vertically. The area is not discolored in anyway and it does not feel raised around the pectoral muscles. I guess I would consider it swelling over the xiphoid area, and not really cyst like. I noticed it because "I think" there used to be a defined indentation between my pectoral muscles. I haven't had any injuries in the area except for the recent sunburn. I might be worrying prematurely because of the sunburn. I will definitely have a physician take a look at it for me. Thank you for your assistance, it was greatly appreciated.

 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Dec 07, 2003 2:48 am

User avatar First your lump needs to be examined. Depending on the examination if removing it is the correct course of action regardless of the outcome of the biopsy then it would be removed. If your doctor suspects something that will heal with time then he will just take a biopsy (sample) and wait for the results to confirm his suspicion.
It's not major surgery at all. Its just a sample.

Best regards

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