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Lump!
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Lump!

Hello,


A week ago I found a lump under my left clavicle, It is right in the middle about hald an inch below my clavicle.  It is hard and not tender ot painful.  I thought it could be a swollen lymph node, but it doesn't move.  It almost feels like it is attached to the top of my rib cage.  (I am a 20 year old female, normal general health)

I went to the doctor and got a blood test, urine test, and chest x-ray.  Everything came back normal.

So no I'm confused because I have no clue what this is!  There is an obvious lump there, but I don't have any answers yet.  I am going to ask the doctor what I should do next.  I just want to make sure it isn't anything that needs to be taken care of right away, especially if it's cancerous.

Does anyone have any ideas about what this could be?
Has anyone been in a similar situation?

Advice/Answers would be greatly appreciated.
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15 Comments
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Thanks for writing to the forum!
Let’s not jump to cancer immediately. There are many benign swellings possible like lipoma, neurofibroma or a swollen lymphnode (it can be a fixed swelling too). It could also be a cyst or a cold abscess (due to tuberculosis) or maybe even folliculitis. It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage without examination. The enumerated the possibilities can be investigated or ruled out one by one by your physician.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!


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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for your reply, it was helpful.

Would any of the things you mentioned have shown up on the blood test, urine test, or x-ray?  All tests were normal, so that leaves me pretty lost as to what this lump is.

When the nurse called, they simply read me the test results (in a voicemail).  They didn't tell me what they were going to do next , or whast it could possibly be. So I called and left a message asking that question.  They called back today and the nurse said all the tests were normal, and she would ask the doctor what she wants to do.  Then I guess they will call me back?

I am just lost and confused becuase I have an obvious lump here and just because the tests were normal doesn't mean I shouldn't be concerned.  The nurse acted like she was annoyed that I wanted an answer.  Isn't that why people go to the doctor... to find out what is wrong with them??  I don't know what to do.  What if this is something that I need to take care of right away, and they aren't doing anything about it?  I got the impression that the doctor hasn't even looked at the test results to find a possible diagnosis, and that just because they were normal that they wern't planning on doing anything else to investigate.  I though that SINCE everything was normal, they would have do do something more to investigate, but they seem reuluctant to do so.

All I know is I have an obvious lump, and I still don't know what it is.  What would you (or anyone else reading this) suggest I do next?

I am also worried becuase my aunt had Hodgkins when she was a bit younger then me.
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144586_tn?1284669764
Once again Dr. Knee has given you exactly the right advice. Dr. Knee is accumulating many coupons for this good advice and will soon be able to construct a new patio deck when all these couppons are redeemed at Home Depot.

The overwhelming odds are that this is a benign growth. A nothingburger.

But I can understand your fear.

The next step would be a needle biopsy.

Sometimes these lumps are best left alone. Some kinds of lumps can be simply crushed by the physician and they will absorb.

You might bring the Hodgkins history to the physician's attention, but I wouldn't necessarily say you have that disease. Lot's of people develop such lumps.

You need to re-contact your physician (a registered letter would be fine) and state:

(1) I appreciate your wonderful medical help, but I am very worried about the lump you observed.
(2) I require a definitive diagnosis as to the nature of this lump, in writing. If you are unable to provide me with this diagnosis, please refer me to a physician who will.
(3) I would like to have this lump removed, and would appreciate referral to a physician who could do so.

If you get no satisfactory results in thirty days, find another physician.

Kepp us posted.
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351246_tn?1379685732
Thanks Caregiver 222!!

Best Regards

Doctornee

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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Thanks for keeping me posted!
Lumps like lipoma, neurofibroma, folliculits, localized abscess etc will normally not result in any abnormality in blood and urine tests and X-rays. A cold abscess can cause a raised ESR but again it may not.
I agree with Caregiver222! A fine needle biopsy can only tell you for sure what that lump is. An experienced clinician can however diagnose the lumps by clinical examination too. You can follow the advice given by Caregiver222. Also you can seek an appointment and get the lump examined.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you both for your help.

I got the lump examined and thats when they ordered the blood and urine tests and the x-ray.  Then when everything came back normal they left me hanging.

So after I called and talked to the nurse, she talked to the doctor and then they ordered me a CT scan.  I will have it on monday.  The ordered it for the neck and left clavicle (the lump is located about an inch below my clavicle, and I think it ends about 3 inches below the clavicle), without contrast.

What will the CT scan tell them?  Will it help them come closer to a diagnosis?

Thanks again for your help!!!
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Thanks for keeping the forum posted!
The CT scan is a good non-invasive way of finding out about the lump. It will be able to tell the doctors what the lump is to a great degree of accuracy. Yes, the scan should be able to help them reach a diagnosis.

Hope this helps. Do let me know if there is any thing else and keep me posted. Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for your help!

I just found another lump, this time in my neck.  I'm pretty positive this new one is a lymph node though.  It's:

Enlarged (but a lot smaller than the lump below my clavicle)
Hard
Painless
Moves when I touch it (the lump below my clavicle doesn't)

I'm not sick or anything. No fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite etc.  I just get headaches, but I have had migraines since I was little so it's normal to me.

So I'm not sure if I should be more or less worried!  I really just want to find out what this is!  CT scan should show it since they are doing my left clavicle and neck.
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Thanks for keeping me posted!
If the swellings are lymph nodes then problems like sinusitis, pyorrhea, dental caries, and dandruff in your head could be the problem. Can you identify any? Ear infections too can cause these problems.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
I got the CT scan.  They said my tonsils are enlarged which caused my lymph node to swell.  Should I be satisfied with this diagnosis?  I guess I was just scared because the lump below my color bone is hard and fixed!
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Thanks for keeping me posted!
Yes, it is possible for any upper respiratory infection like sinusitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis etc to cause a lymph node swelling. However tonsils generally drain into the lymph nodes at the angle of the jaws or upper cervical lymph nodes.  A lymph node below the collar bone due to tonsil can only be due to cancer metastasis of tonsil cancer.

Generally the lymph nodes below the clavicle receive lymphatics from the breast. Firm nodes are suggestive of cancers.

Maybe you should seek a second opinion. If all benign swellings mentioned in my first post are ruled out, then yes, oral and breast cancer should be looked at.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
They did a CT scan of my collar bone and neck and didn't say anything about cancer.  Would a CT scan of my collar bone have been able to rule out cancer?  The lump is right below my collar bone right in the middle.  Then about a week later I found the much smaller (but still swollen) and movable lymph node in my neck.  They did a scan of both, and all they said is that my tonsils are enlarged which has to do with something making my tonsils swell. I also had an X-ray, CBC, and urine test which all came back normal.  Would these have ruled out anything you mentioned?  What about cat-scratch disease? They want to see me in 6 weeks to check up.
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534785_tn?1329595808
I have the same thing, but part of my right neck is swollen, as well. I've been having some issues with my thyroid for the past year, so I figured it was somehow connected to that. Since nothing showed up in the chest x-ray and CT scans that I had done, I haven't worried about it much, since. It may be a manifestation of how my body is compensating for the fact that I can't breathe as easily as I once did and/or the lump in my throat. Perhaps an endocrinology evaluation would be helpful for you if you're now experiencing additional swelling in your neck-region.

Good luck and keep me posted!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your reply!

My mom had thyroid problems when she was my around age, so maybe its possible that I am having similar issues.

The lump below my collar bone is weird though, because it it hard and fixed.  It doesn't feel like lymph node to me, but I guess it is!  You have the same thing?  What did the doctors tell you? Was it a node, a cyst, or something different?

I haven't been getting too much info from the doctor so any info I get from others really helps!!
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534785_tn?1329595808
I do have the same thing, and I had a chest x-ray and CT scan done, neither of which revealed anything significant, like significant lymphadenopathy in that region (it would be swelling of the thymus or nearby chest lymph nodes). As a result, I stopped complaining about this problem to any of my doctors and just chalked it up to harmless lymph node(s) swelling or increased blood flow in the vessels on the right side of my neck.

I would definitely have your thyroid checked out if you can. I swear there is lymph node swelling in my chest, though...but apparently it has to be "significant" before doctors will care enough to pay attention to it. =/
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