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Anon asked...

I have found a swelling near my subclavicle.

I have found a large soft swelling near my right subclavicle, what could it be?

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The answer

It is not normal to have a swelling or lump under the area of the collar bone.  If the swelling is soft and regular then it could be a harmless fatty lump called a lipoma which can usually be left alone unless it causes discomfort in which case it could be excised.  The exact cause of lipomas is unknown but it is thought that they start with a knock or local trauma to the skin which then results in proliferation of fat cells with formation of the lump. Other benign possibilities include a sebaceous cyst which is a blocked sebaceous gland and this can also be removing if it is uncomfortable or it becomes red and inflamed which is a sign of infection.  Of more concern is a hard or rubbery swelling which is likely to be an enlarged lymph node.  This could be the result of an infection or abscess elsewhere in the body but most worryingly could indicate a potential cancerous cause.  You should get this lump checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.  If this is not obviously a lipoma or a cyst then it is likely that you will need at least a blood and possibly a scan to determine its nature.

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