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What is the insensitive mass that has appeared under my left rib cage ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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I have a mass that has appeared under my left rib cage.It does not hurt.I recently lost over 30 lbs. and starting wearing a wire bra. The mass is 2-3 in long. I can touch it fine. I just noticed it 2-3 days ago. I am just scared it is cancerous! I just had complete blood work done and I feel great.
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 5 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Based on your description, I think you may have an inflammed and enlarged lymph node. Or Skin thickening (due to skin irritation with the wire bra) can also be felt sometimes like a mass underneath ribs.

In case the weight loss was intentional then there is no need to be worried.

Lymph node enlargement is a very common sign and can cause many people to get stressed and ‎lose their sleep. A few major symptoms and danger signs can help you differentiate very common ‎benign conditions from those cancer and chronic diseases. ‎

1. Inflammed lymph nodes are enlarged and present within few hours and are painful on compression and associated with redness and local elevation of temperature.
2. In case you have symptoms like persistent fever, weight loss, night sweats along with multiple enlarged, painless ‎lymph nodes spread all over the body, it might indicate conditions like lymphoma or cancer.‎

You might benefit by using cold compresses above the enlarged node as well as by taking ibuprofen 400mg tablets 3 times a day for 3-4 days. This should reduce the inflammation and allow proper healing.

Your condition does not appear to be a lymphoma, since there is a single lump and your recent blood work has been normal. In case of any lymphoma or cancer, the blood tests would have detected some changes.

I encourage you to consult a doctor who can examine the lump and if needed may perform a ultrasound of the abdomen if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms or if you find the mass growing in size.

I hope this answer your questions. Please feel free to forward your questions or doubts if any.


Dr. Anvekar.
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