Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is this lump on my rib?"
On one of my ribs on the left side there is a small lump that I can move around with my fingers that is around the size of a small gum ball. What is this? Could it be something serious?
A new lump on your chest wall can be of concern. It is important that you keep monitoring and taking a pro-active role in figuring out what it is. In figuring out what sort of tissue it is, a person needs to know additional information such as how long has it been there? Has it changed size in the past 3-6 months? Does it hurt? Is there dimpling of the skin? Is this close to your armpit or breast? Have you had any changes in weight, such as unintended weight loss? One feature of this lesion you mentioned that is very important is that you can move it around with your fingers. This is very likely to be a benign mass like a lipoma. Lipomas are fat tumors and are benign (not cancerous) lesions. The treatment is only excision of the mass. Still, the only way to figure out what it is is to take a biopsy and wait for the pathologist to view the tissue. However, if it is a small mass and is causing you symptoms, it should probably be removed regardless of its pathology. Thus, most physicians would just recommend you to have it removed right off the bat and refer you to a surgeon who can excise it. Please visit a primary care physician soon who helps you with an accurate diagnosis so that you can be treated appropriately.
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