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Have painless lump on shoulder. No swelling. Worried for cancer

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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I have a firm, painless lump on top of my shoulder, near the AC joint but not above it. No pain. Round to oval shape. Not attached to overlying skin but seemingly attached to underlying muscle/bone (althought it is on top of the muscle I believe). About 3 X 2 cm. Smooth with defined edges. Can feel all around/on top it just can not get under it. Wiggles a little when pressed side to side but does not seem to seperate from underlying tissue. No other symptoms or swellings in the area. Mom had several cysts and lumps. Afriad of cancer. What could it be.
Posted Sun, 24 Mar 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 20 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Such lump can be lipoma, sebaceus cyst, ganglion or enlarged lymph node. All mentioned conditions are benign however if it is lymph node can be caused by a cancer.
The best way to have it diagnosed is to have soft tissues ultrasound of this area which will tell what kind of lesion you have. With ultrasound result you should visit general surgeon and have it removed. This lump will be send to histopatologic tests and you will get an answer what kind of lump it is.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have painless lump on shoulder. No swelling. Worried for cancer 13 minutes later
Based on what I've read/looked at there does not appear to be lymph nodes where my lump is, which is on top of my shoulder just in front of my AC joint. I only see diagrams of them towards the chest, armpit, or space above the collar none toward the neck. Are there lymph nodes there? I thought all lipomas were soft and mobile? Can the be firm and "attached". Also I forgot to mention that I believe this had been there for a few years as it was about the size if a XXXXXXX when I first felt it but forgot about it until I happened to notice it the other day.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 15 minutes later

Lipoma is not always so mobile so you can freely change its location. Depending of the time of its presence it grows with connective tissue and can get really attached. Moreover it is always attached at the bottom (it gets blood vessels from bottom). Depending of how compressed fatty tissue is in lipoma it can be hard as well.
If this lump is there for years, it is unlike for it to be a cancer. Most likely it is benign lesion.
Lymph node can be present in this specific location. This area is called fossa supraclavicularis and contains lymph nodes. And lymph node is always hard. Much harder than lipoma can be.
Ultrasound will tell what exactly it is.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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