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Swelling like growth on base of collarbone, tender & spongy. Should i get a biopsy?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I have some type of swelling or growth at the base of my collarbone just above the breastbone. Feels tender and spongy. Clearly enlarged vs. other side.
Posted Sun, 24 Jun 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Follow-up: Swelling like growth on base of collarbone, tender & spongy. Should i get a biopsy? 1 minute later
Should I get a biopsy?

Could this be related in any way to thyroid or arthritus?
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 20 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

It will be very helpful for me in understanding your condition better if you could answer some of these questions:

1)     Is the lump soft to touch or hard in consistency?
2)     Is the lump preceded by any viral infection or bacterial infection?
3)     Is the lump mobile or painful to touch?
4)     Is there any white or cream discharge from the lump?
5)     Are you having any purple discoloration or pain in the lump?

Such kind of lump can be swollen lymph node, boil, cyst, hematoma formation after muscle strain or a benign tumor. Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Other causes include allergic reactions, arthritis, cancer, metabolic diseases, and an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

For the confirmation of diagnosis, you need to get this lump examined from a doctor and get a MRI scan for any soft tissue growth (to rule out any tumor) and a FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) done.

FNAB is aspiration of the material of the lump which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe. This will confirm the diagnosis as most likely this lump is due to an infection causing an abscess, swollen lymph node or a benign growth.

Hope this answers your query. Please do write back with these replies so that I can help you in a better way.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swelling like growth on base of collarbone, tender & spongy. Should i get a biopsy? 48 minutes later
Thanks Doctor, my responses.

1) hard to the touch though seems a little spongy above the collarbone where the swelling is protruding up into the neck

2) Yes recently I struggled with a sinus and bronchial infection for some time before going to urgent care and taking a course of antibiotics

3) No discharge of any kind

4) no discoloration - slightly tender to the touch

Also since you mentioned thyroid, several years ago I was told I had hashimoto's syndrome, but am not being treated. I do take iodine and thyroid support supplements.
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for writing back with the additional information.

Given your history of recent sinus and bronchial infection, this lump looks like a swollen lymph node. As mentioned above, it can become swollen in case of any recent infection.

You should apply warm compresses on this lump and take some anti inflammatory drug like Diclofenac after consulting your doctor. This will help and gradually the lump should regress in size. If the lump persists then get it evaluated from your physician.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up query.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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