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Monday, July 04, 2011 kait, Community Member, asks

Q: lump on rib cage? ewings sarcoma?

I recently found about a 1 cm lump on my left side towards the middle-to-bottom part of my rib cage. It is very hard, mobile and painless but since i discovered it, it has gotten bigger and seems to be growing. Although the lump itself is painless, the whole side of my ribcage seems to be tender, and I often have an on-and-off pain all over my ribc age from time to time. I have been very fatigued lately with less and less energy every day, it seems.

I went to the doctor and she said to keep a close eye on it to see if it gets bigger. Is this just in my imagination or should I get a second opinion? Is it not a big deal? Please, I'm very concerned because lately I have been doing some research online on different diseases that may have to do with the lump and Ewings sarcoma, a bone cancer, seems to be the one that fits what I'm feeling the best. I have already ruled out a sebaceous cyst, so I know it's not a cyst or anything. Please help!

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
7/ 4/11 10:22pm

Hi Kait - Obviously, you're stressed by this. Please know that the possibility of you having cancer is extremely low - especially since the lump is mobile. However, I think the only way to get past this stress and move on with your life is to see a doctor and ask to have the lump diagnosed. Action trumps worry every time; and the best thing you can do for yourself at this point is see a doctor, get some tests done, and hear from a doctor that the lump you feel is nothing to worry about. So ask your mom or another responsible adult to make you an appointment, OK? Don't worry about over-reacting; you need to find out what this is for your emotional health. Best of luck to you - PJH

Here are some links on pain management that you might find useful in the meantime:

Using Tylenol Responsibly

Why Yoga Can Help Soothe Many Types of Chronic Pain 

Using Mindfulness Meditation to Alleviate Physical Pain  



Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
7/ 5/11 7:16am

Kait, when the doctor asked you to keep an eye on this lump, he wanted you to tell him if there were changes.  Sometimes the way a lump changes is a big clue to what it is.  Because the lump has gotten bigger and you are experiencing increasing rib tenderness, it's time to go back to the doctor.  I'm not sure why you are sure that this could not be a sebaceous cyst.  Both my husband and I have had them, but they don't always look exactly the same.  The stress you are feeling could easily be contributing to your fatigue, so please go back to the doctor.  Most likely the lump is not cancer because most lumps are not, but you need to find out for sure.

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By kait, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/25/14, First Published: 07/04/11