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Thread: 18, *Multiple* hard lumps on ribs? What ELSE could it be?

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Question 18, *Multiple* hard lumps on ribs? What ELSE could it be?

    Hello, I am an 18 year old male and about a year ago I had a pain on the left-center of my sternum. Not long after, a lump had formed. I tried waiting it out, but time went on and only more showed up. There's now at least 5-6 small bony lumps on my sternum and ribs, around the joints and bone. They do get pain but the oldest ones really only hurt when touched/pushed, with pain usually only flaring up on its own in the newest ones. They are solid and immovable, but do not noticeably grow any beyond when they're first found. None of them stick out further than 1 cm, the largest ones are at most 3 cm wide, and nearly almost none of them can be seen just by looking at them. The most worrying factor is that the lumps do appear irregular - while mostly very rounded and smooth, they form unusual ridges and lumps where I'm not sure simple bone or cartilage swelling would take place. Swellings would probably present as wide gradual lumps, while some spots on my chest have very defined yet long and thin protrusions. None of these lumps physically inhibit any form of movement, and the worst motion can do is rarely trigger a lump's lingering pain.

    IF this were cancer, wouldn't there be fewer "tumors", and bigger ones? To my knowledge they would steadily grow over time, rather than slowing down and becoming less painful. Additionally, cases of bone tumors are always described as a single primary mass that gradually grows for years and spreads cancer to other organs and bones, rather than one that stays mostly the same but creates many localized secondary tumors. My best guess is a bacterial infection such as Osteomyelitis. I had suffered UTI symptoms about a year and a half ago after a sexual encounter, along with long term testicular and armpit pain/discomfort over the course of a year or so, with no physical irregularities found in the testicles by the clinic's doctor and the armpits having no lumps. The initial sternum lump appeared about five months after these symptoms began. I also tested negative for HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Both of these pains have nearly entirely died out, but the lumps on my chest continue to appear. Apparently Osteomyelitis can appear anywhere on the body and is cited to be able to start from a UTI case.

    I see very conflicting messages about tumor pain - some say it is painless, and other say it is extremely painful at all times. Would cancer be able to be allowed to spread for this long, covering most of my ribcage, while still being only distractedly uncomfortable at worst? Popping sternum and rib joints are also a symptom of costochondritis, without any reference in regards to cancer. I initially believed the condition to be Tietze's syndrome, it started appearing in areas that I don't believe would have the cartilage involved. Also, I feel a similar lump on the back of my left hand, mostly without pain, a very small flat one on the middle of my right collarbone, and potentially the inner center of my right tibia with fleeting shin pains that appear at any area of the tibia unrelated to the potential lump. A similar nonfocal light fleeting discomfort is in my abdominal wall. To my understanding, all of these areas are said to be very rare for bone metastasis, with acrometastasis of the hand being extraordinarily uncommon, with metastasis to both areas being practically nonexistant. I haven't felt any signs of organs being affected by this unknown condition whatsoever, and without any out of the ordinary sicknesses or symptoms as well. Would I be able to have a legitimate bone cancer for this long in this many places without experiencing symptoms bad enough to send me to the hospital? Both bacterial infections and bone cancer can spread via invading local tissue, and nowhere makes it clear if bone metastasis site chance rates apply to this type of local spreading. This has lasted an entire year and so far the lumps are still the only distinct potentially cancerous symptom.

    I understand that only a doctor can diagnose this. Part of the reason I waited so long was so that I could move in to college before seeking treatment, so I wouldn't need to continue the process somewhere else part way through. I am simply asking this forum IF THERE IS ANYTHING ELSE this condition could realistically be. Essentially every question I've asked about this online has been ignored. Searching the internet very obviously tells me that bone cancer, the type of which being exceedingly rare for even a cancer patient my age, is the only explanation, as Google seems to enjoy doing. I am merely trying to get as much information as I can before treatment so I can be helpful in providing information while seeking help.

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Hi and sorry to see you feel the need to post, as you know we are not doctors and therefore cannot say what else your symptoms may be and it is really important you go to see a doctor, explain your symptoms along with a full history and see what they say. At your age the chances of having cancer are rare and trying to seek information before a diagnosis is dangerous, we see it many times, someone googles and surprise surprise they have cancer and they convince themselves that Dr Google is right and their doctors are wrong, this then leads to anxiety.
    So please read this if you have not https://www.cancerforums.net/threads...t-it-read-this!! and cease using google and book that appointment and I hope you get the answers you seek.
    NHL DLBC aggressive stage 4B advanced
    diagnosed april 09
    after 8 rchop and a couple of delays, in remission
    some long term side effects to manage post treatment
    some blips and investigations on the journey but now
    22nd oct 2014 discharged no more hospital visits

    we are all on a roller coaster ride, riding blind never knowing where the highs and lows are.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I could say that it sounds serious, or I could say it's nothing. Neither opinion would be of any value.

    What does doctor say? There are community health clinics that can see you for for little or no cost.

    Let us know what doctor says.
    05/08-07/08 Tumor appears behind left ear. Followed by serial medical incompetence on the parts of PCP, veteran oncologist and pathologist (misdiagnosis via non-diagnosis). Providential guidance to proper care at an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center.
    07/08 Age 56 DX 1) Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma-Not Otherwise Specified. Stage IV-B, >50 ("innumerable") tumors, bone marrow involvement.
    08/08-12/08 Four cycles CHOEP14 + four cycles GND (Cyclofosfamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine, Etoposide, Prednisone & Gemcitabine, Navelbine, Doxil)
    02/09 2) Relapse.
    03/09-06/13 Clinical trial of Romidepsin > long-term study. NED for 64 twenty-eight day cycles, dose tapered.
    07/13 3) Relapse, 4) Suspected Mutation.
    08/13-02/14 Romidepsin increased, stopped for lack of response. Watch & Wait.
    09/14 Relapse/Progression. Visible cervical nodes appear within 4 days of being checked clear.
    10/06/14 One cycle Belinostat. Discontinued to enter second clinical trial.
    10/25/14 Clinical trial of Alisertib/Failed - Progression.
    01/12/15 Belinostat resumed/Failed - Progression. 02/23/15
    02/24/15 Pralatrexate/Failed - Progression. 04/17/15
    04/15 Genomic profiling reveals mutation into PTCL-NOS + AngioImmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. Stage IV-B a second time. Two dozen tumors + small intestine (Ileum) involvement.
    04/22/15 TEC (Bendamustine, Etoposide, Carboplatin). Full response in two cycles. PET/CT both clear. Third cycle followed.
    06/15-07/15 Transplant preparation (X-rays, spinal taps, BMB, blood test, MUGA scan, lung function, CMV screening, C-Diff testing etc. etc. etc.) Intrathecal Methotrexate during spinal tap.
    BMB reveals 5) 26% blast cells of 20q Deletion Myelodysplastic Syndrome MDS), a bone marrow cancer and precursor to Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
    07/11-12/15 Cyclofosfamide + Fludarabine conditioning regimen.
    07/16/15 Total Body Irradiation.
    07/17/15 Moderate intensity Haploidentical Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant receiving my son's peripheral blood stem cells.
    07/21-22/15 Triple dose Cyclofosfamide + Mesna, followed by immunosuppressants Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate Mofetil.
    07/23-08/03/15 Marrow producing zero blood cells. Fever. Hospitalized two weeks.
    08/04/15 Engraftment occurs, and blood cells are measurable - released from hospital.
    08/13/15 Day 26 - Marrow is 100% donor cells. Platelets climbing steadily, red cells follow.
    09/21/15 Acute skin Graft versus Host Disease arrives.
    DEXA scan reveals Osteoporosis.
    09/26/-11/03/15 Prednisone to control skin GvHD.
    11/2015 Acute GvHD re-classified to Chronic Graft versus Host Disease.
    05/2016 Tacrolimus stopped. Prednisone from 30-90mg daily tried. Sirolimus begun. Narrow-band UV-B therapy started, but discontinued for lack of response. One treatment of P-UVAreceived, but halted due to medication reaction.
    09/16/16 Three skin punch biopsies.
    11/04/16 GvHD clinical trial of Ofatumumab (Arzerra) + Prednisone + Methylprednisolone begun.
    12/16 Type II Diabetes, Hypertension - both treatment-related.
    05/17 Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) begun in attempt to control chronic Graft-versus-Host-Disease (cGvHD. 8 year old Power Port removed and replaced with Vortex (Smart) Port for ECP.
    05/2017 Chronic anemia (low hematocrit). Chronic kidney disease. Cataracts from radiation and steroids.
    06/17 Trying various antibiotics in a search for tolerable prophylaxis.
    08/17 Bone marrow biopsy reveals the presence of 2% cells with 20q Deletion Myelodysplastic Syndrome, considered to be Minimum Residual Disease.
    12/17 Bone marrow biopsy reveals no abnormalities in the marrow - MDS eradicated. The steroid taper continues.
    01/18 Consented for Kadmon clinical trial.
    03/18 Began 400mg daily of KD025, a rho-Associated Coiled-coil Kinase 2 Inhibitor (ROCK2).
    09/18 Due to refractory GvHD, Extracorporeal Photopheresis halted after 15 months ue to lack of additional benefit.
    10/18 I was withdrawn from the Kadmon KD025 clinical trial due to increasing fatigue/lack of benefit.
    11/18 Began therapy with Ruxolitinib (Jakafi), a JAK 1&2 inhibitor class drug. Started at half-dose due to concerns with drug interactions.

    To date: 1 cancer, relapse, second relapse/mutation into 2 cancers, then 3 cancers simultaneously, 20 chemotherapy/GVHD drugs in 11 regimens (4 of them at least twice), 5 salvage regimens, 4 clinical trials, 5 post-transplant immuno-suppressant/modulatory drugs, the equivalent of 1,000 years of background radiation from 40+ CT series scans and about 24 PET scans.
    Both lymphoid and myeloid malignancies lend a certain symmetry to the hematological journey.

    Believing in the redemptive value of suffering makes all the difference.


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