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"Is the lump I feel around my muscle a lipoma?"

ZocdocAnswersIs the lump I feel around my muscle a lipoma?

Question

I'm a 22 year old male and there feels like there is a lump on my chest, on the pectoral muscle. It is right around my nipple. Is this just a lipoma or something similar or could it be something serious? How can I figure out what it is and what to do about it?

Answer

Lipomas as you probably know are benign growths of fatty cells that can occur under the skin pretty much anywhere on the body. Lipomas generally have a soft 'squishy' feel to them, and they are usually mobile under the skin. Lipomas are completely benign and don't need to be treated. However, sometimes they can become quite large or uncomfortable, in which case they can easily be removed with a minor office surgery. Depending on your primary care doctor's training, they may perform the surgery, or they may want to refer you to a surgeon to have the lipoma removed. Since the area you are feeling is in your breast, another possibility is that this is breast tissue. All men have some breast tissue, although obviously it is not as pronounced as female breast tissue. Sometimes, breast tissue can become enlarged; in men, this is called gynecomastia. Usually gynecomastia is a benign condition, although it can sometimes be associated with certain medical problems. Very rarely, lumps in the breast in men can be a sign of breast cancer. I suggest that you go to your primary doctor. They will help you figure out whether this is breast tissue or a lipoma and if additional work up or treatment is needed.

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