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Lump on rib cartilage? (costal margin)

Hi all,
I'm a 20 year old male. About one year ago I found a lump on the inner part of my rib cage, coastal cartilage. It sticks out a bit, and it's in the shape of the ribs themselves. It's completely painless, and doesn't seem to have grown in size over the past year (although it's difficult to tell). When I lie down, i can feel the lump under me. Does anyone have an idea of what this could be? When i stand in the light, and look in the mirror you can see the lump. It appears to be a part of my ribs. It's smooth, and looks like its an elevated portion of the rib cartilage itself. It doesn't look like a mass sitting on top of the rib cage, but instead looks like a swollen part of the ribs. I'm afraid it might be cancer. So far I've gone to seek medical help on my college campus, and have been told that the lump looks as if its a normal part of my rib that i've recently become aware of.
Thanks for your reply!
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First Helper tri4ceofpowr
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replied March 4th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
tri4ceofpowr,

Small lumps on the ribs, either on the bone itself or the cartilage, are actually quite common. On the bone, they are called exostoses, and they are benign lumps, of normal bone. Why they occur is not completely known.

It is known that they can occur after trauma, which is most common cause. But, they can sometimes just occur. An exostosis (also called an osteophyte or bone spur) can occur just about anywhere, on any bone. On the ribs and skull, they tend to be sessile (flat, and rounded mound). Again, they are benign, just a growth of normal bone.


It is the some with the cartilage. Usually lumps on the costal cartilages are at the junction with the bone, and again, are usually from trauma. But, sometimes they just occur.


At the age of 20, it would be very rare for this lump to be cancerous. Malignant tumors are usually painful and usually change in character (get larger or change shape). They also have specific appearances on x-ray.


Since your mass is painless and it has not changed in size, it is most likely just a benign overgrowth.


If you are really, really concerned, speak with your physician. Usually, an x-ray can tell if the mass is anything other than a benign overgrowth. Or, a CT scan can be obtained. CT is better for looking at the bone. If, for some reason, there is concern about there being a problem with the soft tissues, then an MRI would be better. If the physician wants to know if the mass is biologically active, then a bone scan can be done. But, you can discuss this with your physician.


Good luck.
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replied March 7th, 2013
Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure if my mass has grown at all, but it doesn't seem to have in the past year. If anything, it has protruded outward ever so slightly but I think that might be due to my recent fear of it. As for the mass itself, its in the shape of my cartilage just swollen outward. Would an extosis or chondrosarcoma appear as a lump on top of my rib, or rather as this unusual swelling?
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replied March 8th, 2013
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tri4ceofpowr,

An exotosis is a benign overgrowth of bone. It can be any shape.


Chondosarcoma is actually a very rare malignant tumor of cartilage. While it can occur at any age, it is mostly a lesion of the elderly. One of the hallmark symptoms of this tumor is that is it very painful.


So, at 20, it would be a lot more common for you to have an exotosis or some other benign lesion of bone and cartilage.

If you are concerned about the mass, dicuss it with your physician.

Good luck.
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replied June 29th, 2013
I have the exact same thing. No.pain, it just feels like something is out of place possibly. Its more discomfort than anything. It looks just like my xostal maegin but is swollen, no lump but my floating rib area is swollen too. Xray showed nothing. Dr said it was just inflammed cartilage, but I think I want a second opinion.
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replied June 29th, 2013
I have the exact same thing. No.pain, it just feels like something is out of place possibly. Its more discomfort than anything. It looks just like my xostal maegin but is swollen, no lump but my floating rib area is swollen too. Xray showed nothing. Dr said it was just inflammed cartilage, but I think I want a second opinion.
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replied June 29th, 2013
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kndyksses,

It is doubtful that is would be anything of significance if you do not have a lot of discomfort.

But, if you want to get a second opinion, get one.

Good luck.
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replied September 8th, 2015
Lump on Rib Cage
Hi, I have a lump on my right rib cage, I was told by a doctor that it was just cartilage growing, that it should not be painful, and the growth should stop. Unfortunately this week I was in a lot of pain and the size went from a pea size to about a quarter size lump.. Any Ideas is this is still only cartilage growth??
Thanks
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replied March 15th, 2017
Hi, I'm a 21 year old male and recently lost a total of 60 lbs. and one day when I was looking in the mirror, I noticed a protrusion stemming from my left Costal Margin, and like the hypochondriac that I am, I freaked out! But I noticed that even back when I was overweight that the left side of my body wasn't leveled with the right side, I've done strength training for a few years and also partook in boxing, so I'm wondering if this is just an old remnant of trauma. The protrusion doesn't hurt at all and its not even uncomfortable, when I feel it, it feels as if its apart of the bone and is slightly underneath my xiphoid process. I'm just wondering if this is a normal occurrence or not!
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