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Cancer

Mass - Upper Back

05/26/2009

Question:

I have a large mass on my upper back, over my right shoulder blade, just below a small dermafibroma. While I realize the dermafibroma is not a concern, my husband notice this mass about the size of my palm on my back. My doctor said this is not a limpoma and wants to take a wait and see approach. It does seem to be fairly firm and I am not sure it is growing, though it did seem to appear large all of a sudden. There have been no blood tests or other imaging, though I have asked for an MRI or bone scan. What should I be getting at this point? I am concerned about the wait and see approach as I had a niece that died because a small lump on her foot was written off my her doctor. A year later, she had cancer all through the bones of her body. She might have had a chance if the doctor hadn`t thought so little of her small lump on her foot. While I don`t think I am dying, shouldn`t I being getting some diagnostics to make sure this is benign? I have had terrible back pain that wakes me up every morning. How do I get treatment?

Answer:

If you are not comfortable with your current physician's management you should seek a second opinion. If you have not already seen a dermatologist you should do so. There is no need for an MRI, bone scan, or any other imaging procedures at this time. The first test that would be performed which would give you more information is a skin biopsy (if your physician felt that it was warranted).

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Response by:

Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University