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Category: Dermatology
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What could a large lump under my rib cage be?

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I have a large lump under my rib cage on my left side of my back. I just noticed it recently. What could it be?

Expert: wieyedoc replied 3 years ago.

Is it painful? Is the skin an abnormal color etc. over the lump? Is it soft, hard, mobile etc.

Is it actual underneath the rib bone or it under the skin, over the rib where you can feel it?

It is not painful - uncomfortable and no color change in skin. It feels hard to me but due to the location, it’s hard to really tell if its mobile. Under the rib bone in my back. It does give some discomfort when lying on it though.

Okay. So, it is not something that you or a partner could feel since it is under (on the lung side) of your ribs, is that correct?

We can feel it yes. It is the size of a golf ball I would say. If you were to press underneath my rib cage on my back left side you can feel it very well.

RickMD: What symptoms did you have that made you discover this bump?

About two weeks ago it became noticeable to me when I laid on my left side. It does not cause me pain but it is definitely uncomfortable. and i asked my husband to feel it and he was like oh my gosh what is that? There is not one on the other side and I am very worried about cancer or something. It is large enough to feel easily. It aches but no severe pain as of yet.

Well, I share your concern. There is no normal anatomical reason for a lump to be present in this area. A painless lump under a rib is something that needs to be evaluated sooner rather than later.

I realize that you do not have health insurance right now. That being said, delay in workup for this rather large mass is unwise.

Okay, so what could it possibly be?

Could it be cancer? Yes. Could it be a cyst that is not dangerous? Yes. Should you wait to see a doctor until you get insurance? Absolutely not.

It might be a growth on the rib itself, it could be from lymphoma, a metastatic cancer, an encysted infection - lot of things.

As you have already seen, with chat as my only diagnostic "tool" it is hard to even figure out where it is, let alone evaluated how it feels, moves, looks, exactly where it is etc. If I could do this I would be able to reasonably narrow down the possibilities for you.

Okay, those are all the things I read on the internet.
But at this point I would think the very worst -- cancer -- and hope for the best -- lipoma or cyst.

My first thought is cancer - but I didn't want to say that.

I hope you understand the limitations I am under here on the internet :(

Yes, and thank you.

I wish you the very best.

wieyedoc and other Dermatology Specialists are ready to help you
I was just thinking about you today and wondering what the doctor thought. Was there anything abnormal on your blood tests? Did they do an MRI or ct scan? What do they think?