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Have a small lump on sternum. It is spongy to touch with unpleasant smell. What it could be?

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Critical Care Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 29 Questions
Hi, I have a small lump on my sternum (in the middle) which appeared a couple of years ago, just after a relationship ended. It's about the size of a small, flattened pea and has not changed in size. It feels sort of spongey to the touch. Lately, it seems to be emitting an unpleasant smell, especially when I am under stress. I wonder what it could be?
Posted Mon, 22 Oct 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ghaly 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

It is most likely lipoma if it did not change in size and not painful. You can either leave it or if it is cosmetically annoying it can be surgically removed. In both cases it is benign.

Do write back for follow up queries that you may have,


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Follow-up: Have a small lump on sternum. It is spongy to touch with unpleasant smell. What it could be? 1 hour later
Why does it smell?
Answered by Dr. Ghaly 6 hours later
There is no medical explanation for presence of unpleasant smell at times of stress. However if unpleasant smell is constant we need to rule out an infected lipoma or infected sebaceous cyst.

Hope this answers your query. Let me know if you have other concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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