What is a chest lump?

A chest lump is a protuberance or localized area of swelling on the chest. Other terms used to describe the various types of chest lumps include bump, nodule, contusion, tumor and cyst. Chest lumps can involve the chest wall skin or be situated deeper below. Chest lumps can be caused by any number of conditions, including infections, inflammation, tumors or trauma. Depending on the cause, chest lumps may be single or multiple, soft or firm, painful or painless. They may grow rapidly or may not change in size.

Chest lumps due to local infectious causes may appear as boils, or abscesses. Traumatic causes of chest lumps range from bug bites to more severe injuries that can produce a localized collection of blood in the tissues (hematoma).

Both benign and malignant tumors of the skin, soft tissues, or organs can sometimes feel like chest lumps. In these cases, either a biopsy or surgical removal of the lump can determine whether cancer is present. Cysts, which are fluid-filled, sac-like structures that can form in various parts of the body, often feel like lumps. Some cysts may be present at birth, while others develop as a result of inflammation, tumors, or wear-and-tear over time.

Chest lumps caused by infection, inflammation, or minor trauma are usually temporary and subside as the underlying condition resolves. Chest lumps that persist or continue to grow over time may signal more serious conditions, such as tumors. If you have a chest lump that is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with a chest lump?

A chest lump may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Certain conditions that cause chest lumps may also involve other body systems.

Related localized symptoms that may occur along with a chest lump

A chest lump may be accompanied by other localized symptoms including:

  • Pus or discharge Read more about chest lumpsymptoms


What causes a chest lump?

Chest lumps have many possible causes, including trauma, infections, inflammatory diseases, benign cysts and tumors, and cancers.

Traumatic causes of chest lumps

Minor and severe injuries, as well as internal trauma, can result in a localized swelling or lump on the chest including:

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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