ZocdocAnswersWhat could this swollen lump on my upper back be?

Question

What could this swollen lump on my upper back be?

I am a 25 year old paraprofessional and i have a 7 year old daughter. I notice a small lump on my upper back about a year ago. Since then the lump has grown from a penny size to a quarter size. Sometimes when i am really busy i have slight back pains. About a year ago my mom had a lump close to the same spot mines is in, but she said it was fatty tissue and had it removed. I haven't had it checked out yet because of fear and lack of full coverage health insurance. What should i do and is this serious?

Answer

Any time you develop any type of new growth or lump, you should always have it checked out by a doctor. This is because no one can tell you what it is before you get it looked at. Most small lumps like the one on your back are either cysts (collections of fluid) or lipomas. Lipomas are those collections of fatty tissue that your mother had removed. They are basically benign tumors made of fat cells. They do not turn into cancer and rarely cause any health problems at all. Some people decide to have them removed for either cosmetic reasons or because they are in a location that bothers them in some way. Lipomas do grow, but they grow very slowly sometimes too slow to notice. Since you lump has grown over the past year, it is probably best to have it checked out. You should have this looked at by your primary care physician. I suggest that you schedule an appointment today. After a thorough examination, your doctor will likely know what it is and let you know whether it would be safe to remove. If your doctor is unsure of what it is, then you may need some imaging such as an ultrasound to figure that out.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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