man feeling collarbone

Finding hard lumps around the collarbone are always frightening, but what about ON the collarbone (also known as the clavicle)?

Do you regularly feel your collarbone – smack on it with your probing fingertips as well as right above it and right below it?

“Lymphoma is a type of malignancy (cancer) where the cancer cells originate from the lymphatic system,” says John-Paul H. Rue, MD, orthopedic sports medicine surgeon with Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.

“Lymphomas may present as painless swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck and collarbone region, or the armpits or groin,” continues Dr. Rue.

Abnormal Lump on the Collarbone (Clavicle) that Was Never There Before

“The clavicle is a very superficial bone,” says Dr. Rue. “Any abnormal swelling or lumps on or around it are generally fairly easy to see.

“You can also look for asymmetry compared to the other side by looking in a mirror. If there is swelling or a difference in the side to side appearance of the collarbone, it’s important to have that evaluated.

“An X-ray can determine if it is something abnormal with the bone itself.  Enlarged lymph nodes can be firm and nodular and typically above the collarbone towards the neck.

“A bone tumor could be felt right on the bone and is often hard, like the bone.”

Not all lumps on or near the collarbone are cancerous or caused by lymphoma if they are. Don’t wait; see a doctor to find out for sure what the cause is.

Dr. Rue specializes in prevention and treatment of sports and exercise injuries. His primary focuses are knee, shoulder and elbow injuries including ACL and cartilage injuries, rotator cuff injuries and overuse tendonitis.