Sternum Lump and the Xiphoid Process
It is very common to be concerned about lumps in any part of the body. Lump below sternum is one of the more common complaints; it is the occurrence of a lump on the sternum in the chest. There are many conditions that can cause a sternum lump; the most common explanation for it is the presence of xiphoid process lump, although there are other causes too, like hernia or a tumor.
The sternum is one of the main bone structures located in the chest. This structure runs perpendicular through the middle of the upper body. Its major function lies in securing and joining the ribs. The sternum starts with a dip at the external notch or the base of the throat; a V-shaped sternum lump though is considered normal.
At the center of the chest, the sternum ends in a bone and cartilage protrusion. The protrusion is called the xiphoid process or xiphisternum; this body part varies in size and shape, depending on individual body sizes. There are people with a more prominent xiphoid process that actually sticks out from their chest. In some individuals this body part may look and feel like a hard sternum lump, especially when in a reclining position. Too much weight may also be responsible for the xiphoid process to be prominently visible.
The xiphoid process is also called the xiphisternum, the ensiform process, the ensiform cartilage, or the xiphoid cartilage. Its name comes from 'xiphos', a Greek word meaning a straight sword or blade; aptly named, because the cartilage edge looks like a blade. The xiphoid process is the most common explanation for a lot of worries about a sternum lump but in some cases another medical condition may be the cause of a lump below the sternum.
Other Causes of Sternum Lump:
Hernia can also be a common cause for the development of body masses, or lumps. This condition happens when part of an organ presses on, against or through the inner wall that holds it. In the case of a sternum lump, a protrusion of the stomach or the intestines may be the cause of it. This type of hernia may either be soft or hard and could be painful; this could occur due to a birth defect or through too much exertion of the relevant part of the body.
In some cases a lump below sternum may be due to a tumor. Tumor masses found in the sternum are usually benign or non-cancerous. A benign sternum lump tumor is nothing to worry about. A cancerous tumor, on the other hand, commonly occurs because of the spread of malignancy from nearby structures like the lungs. Symptoms of both types of tumor may include chest pains, fever and of course the presences of a sternum lump.