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Small moveable lump almost in front of collar bone. Done with chest X-ray. Should I be worried?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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I noticed a small very moveable lump, almost on front of collar bone. It is firm. I noticed it a few weeks ago. I went to see my doctor who touched it for a second and said its fine. Probably fatty tissue or something. I'm concerned as might be lymph node. He said you don't really get them there. But I researched they are above and bellow collarbone. I can move it from bellow collarbone to above it. Its about 0.6 cm. Its stayed the same size and have no other symptoms. Should he not biopsy it ?? Should I get a second opinion? I had chest x XXXXXXX a month ago for something unrelated and it was fine
Posted Tue, 10 Sep 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It is a lymph node. Biopsy is not necessary.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for the query.

You are right. For 90% it is a lymph node indeed. In this areas (above and below collarbone) lymph nodes are present and there is nothing surprising in that. Lymph nodes may be palpable in this area especially if you are thin person.
Lymph nodes are present in lots of human body areas (almost everywhere). Its function is to protect against infections (they secrete antibodies) and filtrate the blood from bacteria parts. Usually lymph nodes remain small, however if any infection in the surrounding area appears, they get enlarged.
In some cases cancer can also cause lymph node enlargement.

Please note that infectious lymph node is round, movable, with smooth surface and can be painful. Cancerous lymph node is hard, not movable, the surface is rough and almost never give pain.

As your lymph node is very small, has not gotten larger and is movable, I suggest you to have it under observation. If it will change the size, than biopsy is advisable.

If you feel that it will be disturbing you(and no explanation will give you tranquility), you may have an ultrasound of this area and biopsy to definitely diagnose it.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Small moveable lump almost in front of collar bone. Done with chest X-ray. Should I be worried? 6 minutes later
Thanks, it feels very smooth and round, my main worry is it is firm, but the doctor said he didn't think it was even a lymph node, is it normal if it feels firm ?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Lymph nodes are firm, this is very normal.

Detailed Answer:
Yes, this is very characteristic for lymph node. It is because a lymph node is surrounded by its capsule. Such capsule is composed of connective tissue. This kind of tissue is very hard so the capsule can protect the lymph node.
So firmness just makes it more lymph node than any other tissue.

Hope this will help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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