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Thread: Small hard lump on shin - anyone experienced this?

  1. #1

    Small hard lump on shin - anyone experienced this?

    I've been to the doctor today as I have a hard small lump on my right shin. It has been there about 10 weeks (well that's when I first noticed it) so I knew there must be something wrong as a standard knock, bruise or bite would normally go within a week or two. The lump is small, probably about the size of a marble and the area around it changes from light red, like an irritated bite, to a darker bruise-like colour. It is always fairly tender like a bruise but can sometimes throb a bit. They put me on antibiotics last week to see if it was an infection but nothing has changed, then today they sent me for an xray and I have to wait 7 days for the results. Having done some brief google research skin cancer keeps coming up which has naturally scared me somewhat. Has anyone had a similar experience? Please don't hold back if it's a bad one, I just want to know if anyone has experienced this because it's very odd and as yet my GP doesn't know what it could be (or isn't telling me until she gets the x ray results). I'm 25, blonde with pale skin, wear sunscreen mostly when out in the sun, but have burnt on a few occasions thoughout my life, although never on my legs. Thanks, Lucie

  2. #2
    Moderator Senior User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Hi Lucie,

    First, melanoma is still a rare disease and you should take heart in the fact that rare diseases happen rarely on a comparative basis relative to society as a whole .... This may sound like a trite truism, but quite often we lose sight of this amidst our concerns of the moment. I am presuming that you have not been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer before in your life....I also presume that you have done some research and may be concerned that you had a primary melanoma tumor which totally regressed (disappeared) and that this bump represents a metastasis....

    In my various readings of the melanoma medical literature, melanoma with an unknown primary source only happens in about 4 - 8 % of all melanoma patients in the United States.... so it is rarer yet, but it unequivocally happens to the unlucky few...

    The fact that this thing (whatever it is) throbs is probably a good sign in a perverse way because primary melanoma tumors rarely hurt -- mets are a different story, though I pray to God that I never experience this firsthand....

    Lucy, I don't know what that bump could possibly be in your case as I'm not a doctor and internet "diagnoses" are not only inherently flawed but downright dangerous to boot .... It could be primary bone cancer, it could be a melanoma met with an unknown primary source.... But it is more likely a case of shin splints or a stress fracture -- which are painful as hell and take a VERY long time to heal and I know this firsthand because I had one on my left shin and it was slightly swollen and hard, from my body dumping down calcium deposits as part of the healing process, and it throbbed big time when I went to sleep... After this stress fracture, I gave up wearing Western Boots (cowboy boots if you will) and I would imagine that women in heels probably incur the same thing.....It could also be a spider bite that you didnt' notice initially.....

    Lucie, based on the information you shared, this could be any number of things -- but if I were a betting man, I would not bet my house that this thing is melanoma in your case....

    In closing, I will share a great quote that a lady on a different melanoma forum shared with forum participants -- which was very timely in my case because I wasn't having a very good day at the time.... My diagnosis as Stage IIA and the then 1 in 5 chance of being dead in five years, or 1 in 3 chance of being dead in 10 years by a damn "wart" on my toe weighed very heavily upon me....How could this happen to me ?

    I since learned that the survival stats are a little better for mel folks who had their lymph node status determined by the Sentinel Node Biopsy procedure -- 85% at 5 years and 78% at 10 years; not too bad if one has to have cancer... And that the glass is way more than half full vice half empty... It's even possible that I am cured, though that won't be determined until I pack it in hopefully at age 90 from some other malady...

    But the quote from Gene Brown is thus: "The bridges that you cross before you come to them are over rivers that aren't there". There are times when, in retrospect, I feel that I should tatoo this proverb on my forehead !

    Lucie, Regards and Good Luck and let us know how things turn out....


    Haole Boy (aka Hawaii Bob on other forums)

    Stage IIA
    Oahu, Hawaii, USA
    No Evidence of Disease (knock on wood) since 21 August 2008
    2.40mm Breslow Superficial Spreading Melanoma on the bottom of my left foot's 2nd toe, adjacent to the Great Toe, which was amputated in the Wide Local Excision (WLE), Sentinel Node Biopsy (one node left inquinal groin region) negative for mets; Procedures performed at the Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA


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