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doconc, Medical Oncologist
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 503
Experience:  I am a board-certified medical oncologist and specialize in adult oncology
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A year ago I had a orthopedic doctor check a lipoma on my

Customer Question

A year ago I had a orthopedic doctor check a lipoma on my shin area. Off the shin bone. Appears when flexing.
Now, to the right of that lipoma is another lump when I flex my leg hard- while legs are crossed.
It's elongated and is a noticeable bump.
I have to really twist and tighten my calf over my knee for it to be felt.
Is this a sarcoma presentation?
I need some facts about this before I panic
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  doconc replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I have reviewed your post. First, the likelihood of sarcoma is very low. This could be scarring or could be some other benign process. The best evaluation for this would be an MRI. This is the best test to evaluate for processes in the soft tissues of the leg. The likelihood of this being sarcoma is very small, but certainly this should be evaluated further to make sure this is not something more ominous. I know these can be scary, and sometime lipomas can scar and grow elongated and could very likely be another lipoma or other benign process. I hope this helps answer your question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Would an xray show anything?
Also, I'm 30. Female. I played soccer childhood through college.
Do sarcomas present as a solid mass? Hard or soft? And is there pain and then a lump or the latter?
Expert:  doconc replied 2 years ago.
Given your history of playing soccer, this could even be an old injury and scar tissue. A plain x-Ray would not likely show anything as these are good at looking at bone but not soft tissue questions in the leg
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok could you explain a little maybe about how sarcomas present usually in the leg? Like I mentioned. My lipoma hasn't changed in a year. At all. Depressable and soft and small. This spot is also soft and depressable. Just kinda sticks out to the side of the lipoma. I have to cross my leg, twisting my calf on my knee, to have it feelable.When I release my calf, it cannot be felt or seen. It's like being pushed up. I have measured the circumference of both my calves and there isn't any swelling that I can measure. Both are the same.
Expert:  doconc replied 2 years ago.
If it is also soft and depressable then it's very likely another lipoma or an extension of the other one. Sarcomas are usually firm and don't depress. Being thorough, I would suggest an MRI. An ultrasound may be useful as well, but if inconclusive, they would likely recommend an MRI. I wouldn't recommend a biopsy until further imaging is done, as if it is suspicious then you would want to see a specialist first. Typically, this would be an orthopedic oncologist. But this is likely lipoma.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. This is very scary. All of that information is very scary to me. I was hoping this would not sound anything like a cancer in my leg.Is this something that an occur next to a lipoma?Do you know if there are other symptoms?Any facts at all that can help me not to completely freak out
Expert:  doconc replied 2 years ago.
This doesn't sound like cancer at all, but just trying to give you some direction to help you evaluate this further to put your mind at ease. I know it can be scary, and I want to assure you this does not sound at all like cancer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I'm sorry for all the questions. Are sarcomas in the shin area generally round or can they be any shape and..after reading I know there are many different types of sarcomas..but commonly in the shin area- is there a type or a usual presentation? I don't have pain nor do I have any pain when forcing the spot to come up. If I rub over the area with lotion, it moves along like it would over swelling like soft and smooth. No feelable edges.
Expert:  doconc replied 2 years ago.
Typically in the shin area it would be most likely consistent with osteosarcoma, though soft tissue sarcomas can grow there too. They are usually fixed and don't move and don't typically have smooth edges. They can grow any shape, but are not usually smooth and round, as there is a significant amount of inflammation and so scarring forms and make their borders irregular and they don't usually move around with rubbing on it. A lipoma can also become inflamed if you rub on it too much, so I would not mess too much with it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Are they usually hard or can they be soft?This one, is definitely depressable. And painless. I'm not able to get into an orthopedic doctor for 10 days I'm a nervous wreck after googling. This isn't a visable spot on my leg, unless I twist with legs crossed. Could the lipoma cause the muscle to come up like this?This is about 1 1/2 inch long, it's on the edge of the front of my leg. Where the indent begins when flexing the calf. Like I said it's just kind of a bulge or ridge and I can press down on it. It doesn't stand up very high or anything but I can feel it when I run my fingers over my leg. I'm sorry if this sounds ranting. I'm trying to explain to help you understand and give me opinion.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I also read most are in the thigh/hip/behind knee. Is the shin area uncommon?
I'm trying to say ok, no swelling. No pain. And it's depressable. It's probably ok.
Expert:  doconc replied 2 years ago.
First, the shin area is not a common site for soft tissue sarcoma. The thigh and buttocks area is by far the most common. As far as waiting 10 days, there is very likely nothing to be concerns with and waiting 10 days even if it was something concerning is still a pretty short period of time. This does not sound like cancer given how you describe it and the fact that it's immediately adjacent to the lipoma and feels the same.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. I'm going to try to chill out about this. It could have been there forever. And I just noticed it. It may have been present a year ago when I had the lipoma looked at.
Everything I read online describes pain or swelling. So I'm trying to justify what I have.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi DocOnC- I got into the orthopedic surgeon today. He felt my leg and said that it's muscle inflammation there or another lipoma. It's soft and smooth and depressable.
He didn't suggest an MRI.
Should I press for one or is that suffient?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dr. onc- can I ask a follow up?