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Avatar universal

hard lump on sternum

I have a hard, "jelly bean sized", firm, non-movable lump on left side of my sternum, right between my breasts.  I've had no injury to the area, it is not discolored & have had this bump for a couple of years.  During a mammogram a couple years ago, a "marker" was placed over this area, however the marker moves with my skin, and since the lump is fixed on my sternum, it doesn't show in a mammography.  They said that they "didn't see anything near the marker" in the mammo., however it was not able to be "pulled" into the mammogram.  (I hope you understand what i mean by that.)   It is slightly tender when it's first palpated, but is painful afterwards.  It does not change with respirations at all.  I have had brain surgeries, so that has taken precedence, but sometimes this lump gets very tender and seems more prominent.  I don't want to dismiss it if it shouldn't be, as my father passed away @ 53 yrs old from small cell lung cancer.  Also, it doesn't change size with ibuprophen.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Also, I am 39 years old.  Thanks for any info!
Avatar universal
From your post, it seems that the lump on the left side of your sternum is superficial.  It can be a benign mass like a sebaceous cyst or a lipoma.  It can also be a bony extension of the sternum or one of the ribs.
You may want to have it checked by your doctor to be more certain.  A thoracic cage x-ray may help in determining whether the lump is part of the bone or soft tissue in origin.
Take care.
Avatar universal
Dr. Dennis,
I've never had this looked into yet, since I had other serious things to deal with, however with October being breast cancer month, I've thought again about it & just re-read your reply.  The lump that i have is fixed to the left side of my sternum.  It is hard like bone, at times seems larger, but for the most part is the same size as last year.  That is the reason (being fixed to the sternum) that it was never able to be seen in the mammography.  (I am a nurse, & although I know I should just get it checked out, it's been there for a long time & I've had so many other more serious health concerns)  
Since it's not really gotten larger, should it be assumed that it's part of my sternum?
And why at times would it seem to feel larger or be more tender?  (No fever, redness, etc.)
Thank you for any honest thoughts that you might have.
Avatar universal

Wouldn't an ultrasound be able to pin point the area? You could  ask your GP about an  exploratory biopsy this has been going on for a while,  If nothing else just to get some peace of mind.  I hope all goes well.
Avatar universal
I hope you have a talk with your doctor - and yes why wasn't an ultrasound done - that would give you peace of mind.  So very sorry about your father - I also lost my father when he was 56 years old in the early 1980's to lung cancer.  He worked in the textile mills for many years and he was a smoker and a drinker, but my God I sure miss him.  

I pray that your lump is just a benign cyst, etc.

Hugs, Julie
Avatar universal
Ever get this figured out? I have a lump on the left side of my chest near the breast. Small, like a mosquito bite. but I just noticed it 2 weeks ago and it's gotten bigger since then.
Avatar universal
Don't do any biopsy, you will just have surgery for nothing  and waiting many week in a huge anxiety state for nothing too
A hard lump on the sternum (like bone)  is  probably nothing , bone cancer localized in sternum is extremly rare
You have this lump for years, if it was cancer, it would have been spread
Don't waste your time and stop to be hypocondriac
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