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January 22, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Montgomery, Alabama, USA:

For the last four years, I have experienced a small lump just under my right rib cage, about an inch down from where my rib meets the sternum. It will last for a couple months and then go away for a couple months, but it is not very painful; more a sensation of a lump at that site. I suffer constipation at least twice a week, and in the last year, I have lost 20 pounds and seem to be fatigued during the day. Could this be a pancreatic cyst? Could this be a gall bladder situation?

Answer:

This medium is not good at answering the question you pose. You should speak with your physician about the lump, but I doubt it is a pancreatic cyst. That should not be palpable over the chest. It could be the edge of the liver. It could be a lesion in the skin. It is unlikely to be a gallbladder. This usually requires a physical examination with deep palpation with inspiration.

JTL