Lump on Rib

Question

I have come across a large lump on my rib. It is right on top of the ribcage below my left breast and I am feeling anxious as to what it is. As you know, lumps anywhere in the body, usually signals cancer and I am quite worried. There is no pain and there is no swelling or redness. But the lump is hard. I think it could be a fat deposit lump. But, I am afraid to have it checked out as I don’t want to hear the word “cancer”. I am 23 years old and I do not want to go through chemotherapy and all other treatments. What should I do? What do you think is the cause for my lump on rib?

Answer

Lump on ribs right side or left side can indicate several conditions. For one, you should make sure that you have not got bitten by an insect. Sometimes, insect bites can cause significant sized lumps to appear. Second, you should think about whether you have injured yourself. Bruising or straining can cause a lump to form. It can become an abscess and will, as a result, however, cause pain. However, if your lump on top of rib cage left side does not cause you any pain, you should consider showing this to a doctor as soon as possible.

Osteosarcoma

A lump as you describe can be the first sign of osteosarcoma or bone cancer. As with any cancer, if diagnosed early, it can be contained. Although this condition is most prevalent among adolescents, it is not uncommon for adults to contract this disease. The exact cause of this condition is not known. However, genetics and environmental factors have been considered as primary causes. A CT scan is recommended in addition to a biopsy upon the results of the scan.

Ewing’s Sarcoma

Another reason for lump on ribs right side or left is another form of cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma. This condition can occur anywhere in the long bones in the body. These include arms, legs, pelvis or chest. If not contained, this tumour will spread to the lungs and other bones. Ewing’s Sarcoma is most common in children and young adults. It is very rare among adults. A CT scan of the chest area, a biopsy and a bone scan are some of the tests which can diagnose Ewing’s Sarcoma. Treatment options will range from chemotherapy to radiation treatment. The spread of the cancer can be contained if detected and treated early. Therefore, you should not postpone you doctor’s visit to get a proper diagnosis of what is causing your lump in the ribs.

Lipomas

Another less severe and worrisome reason for your lump on rib can be due to fatty lumps that grow between the skin and underlying muscle. This is known as a lipoma. When touched, lipomas move, and are doughy. Of course, you can have more than one lipoma in the body. It is not a cancer and usually does not cause any pain. However, if it is in an area where it causes you pain, removing it may be necessary. It is very rare for lipomas to form on the rib; however, it is not impossible. Do not assume that a lump on top of rib cage left side or right is lipoma. Always obtain medical advice regarding any strange bumps or lumps in the body.

There are other various reasons for lump on rib as well although I have cited the most common ones here. The best advice is that you should not prolong obtaining medical advice. Visit an oncologist or your doctor who will refer you to a specialist physician who has experience in treating this type of conditions. Bone cancer cannot be prevented, but it can be contained if treated on time.