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Ask Dr. Natasha Your Own Question

Dr. Natasha
Dr. Natasha, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11630
Experience:  American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained. Medical Review Officer trained in Drug Testing
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Hi, I have a hard lump, plum size, just bellow my sternum,

Customer Question

Hi, I have a hard lump, plum size, just bellow my sternum, central. I'm going to the emergencie room today, I noticed it only yesterday. I have not been exercising for the past couple of weeeks. Can you provide any feedback? I do not have nausea nor vomits nor fever. The lump is hard to touch but causes no pain to touch. It's behind my upper abdominal muscles, if I suck up my stomach my upper abdominal hardens and its harder to detect the lump, it's not pretudent and I only know its there if I search the area with my fingers.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Cameron :

hello

Dr. Cameron :

are you still there?

Dr. Cameron :

I am an ER doctor

Dr. Cameron :

why are you going to the ER today?

Dr. Cameron :

You don't need to go to the ER for this

Dr. Cameron :

this is called the xiphoid process

Dr. Cameron :

It is part of the cartilage under your sternum

Dr. Cameron :

hi

Customer:

I'm here, are you sure? I've never detected this before, I'm 27

Dr. Cameron :

yes, I am sure

Customer:

it doesnt feel right to me

Dr. Cameron :

you probably didn't notice it because you had been working out before

Dr. Cameron :

and the abdominal muscles made it less obvious

Dr. Cameron :

But when you didn't exercise, and lost the muscle mass, it became more obvious

Customer:

its really hard

Dr. Cameron :

right

Dr. Cameron :

You can get a chest xray for confirmation

Dr. Cameron :

it is part of the skeleton

Dr. Cameron :

BUt you can get this as an outpatient

Dr. Cameron :

you do not need to rush to the ER today for this, I promise

Dr. Cameron :

I would ring up your doctor and get an xray in the next 2 weeks

Customer:

I'm kind of overweight, I'm at 93kg, I'm 5'11 (181cm), I wasnt allways like this, its not that I've been much athletic but I remember being considerable thinner at 80 and 85kg and I didnt had this

Dr. Cameron :

ok

Customer:

some time ago I was feeling kind of swollen bellow the chin, close to the neck

Customer:

I went to the doctor and got a emography on the neck soft tissues

Customer:

everything looked fine

Customer:

this was like 3 months ago

Customer:

I noticed it swall when I smoked too much

Dr. Cameron :

Here is a picture of the xiphoid process

Dr. Cameron :

http://www.innerbody.com/anatomy/skeletal/xiphoid-process-sternum

Dr. Cameron :

It is conceivable that you formed a bony cyst or growth on it

Customer:

I'm always under stress lately

Dr. Cameron :

but you don't need to go to the ER for this- you can get an xray by your primary doc

Customer:

exactly!

Dr. Cameron :

if you really WANT to go to the ER, that is fine, but this is NOT an emergency

Customer:

thats just how it feels

Customer:

in terms of shape

Dr. Cameron :

Like I said- get the xray :-)

Dr. Cameron :

But I am sure that you don't want to spend hours in the ER

Customer:

ok I will, so like a general practicioner?

Dr. Cameron :

you are better off calling your doc and asking for an xray which is convenient for you

Dr. Cameron :

correct

Dr. Cameron :

do you have one?

Customer:

I'm quitting smoking and I'm going to get on a health plan

Customer:

I do not have a doctor

Dr. Cameron :

good :-)

Dr. Cameron :

you can go to an urgent care clinic if you want

Customer:

3 weeks ago I started a new exercising routine that was really demanding

Dr. Cameron :

if you simply cannot find a doc, by all means go to the ER- they will get it done today

Customer:

I've kind off been trying to get into shape

Customer:

it involved doing a lot of abdominal work

Customer:

I did got my sternum swoll, sternum as in those diagonal muscles on the front of the neck

Dr. Cameron :

that is great!

Dr. Cameron :

the sternum can become a little irritated

Customer:

"sternal head"

Dr. Cameron :

and you can take ibuprofen fr it

Dr. Cameron :

did you take any ibuprofen

Customer:

yes I did, because of that and overall muscle pain

Dr. Cameron :

good

Dr. Cameron :

don't go too hard or you will injure yourself

Customer:

when I'm in too much pain I take them, due to work I've not been training for the past couple of weeks

Customer:

I know

Dr. Cameron :

you are trying to set up a life style change- this is exercise for life

Customer:

Ill be focusing on the diet more

Customer:

do you think that over exerting abdominal work load may have caused the lesion on the xiphoid? thus making it more pretuberant?

Customer:

(to the touch)

Dr. Cameron :

it could have caused a change in your abdominal wall musculature so that it is more prominent- or protuberant

Customer:

I don't know if it might be me being hypochondirec but I kind of feel unease with it right now

Dr. Cameron :

But I understand your concern- getting an xray to make sure that there is no strange hard cyst or growth is a good idea- I am just telling you don't need to drop everything and do it today

Customer:

I'm going for the x-ray offourse

Dr. Cameron :

I hope I am explaining myself well? :)?

Dr. Cameron :

MOST likely to be BENIGN

Dr. Cameron :

Get the XRAY

Dr. Cameron :

You don't have to do it right away

Dr. Cameron :

:-)

Customer:

i think i noticed this because yesterday I wento to a sushi buffet and I did eat a lot, since I'm a bit overweight and lacking muscle mass to my size do you think it could be an hernia?

Customer:

I do not feel that "reflux" thing

Dr. Cameron :

A hernia is not where that is located and it is not a hard lump

Dr. Cameron :

it is a protruding soft mass

Customer:

haaa, makes sense

Customer:

ok this is my xiphoid

Customer:

iv'e read about the possibility of being a cyst, benign tumor etc, but those would not have that size right? or semmitry? if it did I would had to be in fever and really sick right?

Dr. Cameron :

A benign tumor is simply a mass- it doesn't cause any symptoms

Dr. Cameron :

and they don't do anything about it anyway

Customer:

can I still exercise?

Dr. Cameron :

yes :-)

Customer:

God... I hope it's my xiphoid process but it feels so hard and I never noticed my xiphoid my whole life....

Dr. Cameron :

You would be surprised how many people discover these in their 30s :-)

Customer:

and I've been so unlucky lately with my life that I feel really susceptible to this... it's like I was guessing something even worst was coming, I sure hope not and Ill try to be positive, thank you for your help!

Dr. Cameron :

you are welcome

Dr. Cameron :

I hope that I provided you with excellent service? :-)?

Dr. Natasha, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11630
Experience: American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained. Medical Review Officer trained in Drug Testing
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