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Hard lump on back, size increasing. X-ray showed nothing. I smoke. Please help.

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Practicing since : 2004
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I found a hard lump in my back. It's on my right side,- right by bottom of my ribs. I have had 2 doctors feel it, & they say its my ribs. I KNOW it's not a rib. its hard & round & it's gotten bigger. I am starting to have a panic attack just writing this. Please help me. I am 31, turning 32 next week. I do smoke, but had an x-ray of my lung area when I first found it in February, & was told they saw nothing.
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 3 hours later

Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
•     31 year old female
•     Currently on medicine Ritalin
•     Normal physical examination by two physician and normal x XXXXXXX
•     Concern related to self examination finding of chest lump
•     Panic attacks

Although you are sure you have a hard and round chest swelling, the normal physical examination by two physician and normal X XXXXXXX indicate two things:
•     There is no swelling at all and you are experiencing minor change in body or somatic sensations as lump.
•     Even there is some swelling, but normal physical examination by two physician and normal X XXXXXXX rule out any severe problem.

But since you have panic attacks related to this problem, you definitely need attention.

Panic attacks are included in anxiety disorder. Common symptoms which can occur with anxiety disorder: nervousness, restlessness, mild irritability, excessive worry regarding own wellbeing and health (like fear of having some serious illness like tumor), tremor, muscle spasm leading to pain in multiple parts of body, heaviness in body, easy fatigability, dizziness, palpitation, sleep difficulty and dry mouth.

In general for drug treatment of anxiety disorder two types of medicine used. For immediate relief from anxiety benzodiazepines group (like clonazepam) of medicines are used and for long term relief most commonly SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) is used. SSRI takes around 3-4 weeks to show its effect. Apart from that meditation, yoga, gradual weight reduction and aerobic exercises help in reducing anxiety.
Apart from this, I would like to know the reason for taking Ritalin. Ritalin is commonly used for ADHD. ADHD and Ritalin over use itself associated with anxiety disorders.
You may consider these treatment options after consulting your physician.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

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