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Have hard lump on skull. Hurts while pressing. Any ideas what it might be?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Nov 2013
Nov 2013
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Neurologist
Practicing since : 1994
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I have a hard lump on my skull; only on the left side, 2 fingers above my ear, about a palm in from my hairline. It was very pronounced when i felt it (for the first time )last night. Hurts a little when I pressed on it, but definately hard, non movable. Didn't recall hitting my head on anything recently. It was about the size of a quarter last night and this morning I couldn't find it, but am feeling it grow through out the day. Any ideas what it might be? How quickly ,and with what type of Dr do I need to make an appointment with
Posted Fri, 7 Dec 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 3 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for posting your query.

The likely causes of the lump could be hematoma (I note that there is no history of trauma) or infected sebaceous cyst.

Other possibility to exclude would be a tumor (in view of history of cervical cancer and melanoma).

You will require an examination by a general surgeon or a neurosurgeon.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have hard lump on skull. Hurts while pressing. Any ideas what it might be? 28 minutes later
Thank you for your advise Dr XXXXXXX
Do you think I should get a MRI?
Is this something I should go into an Urgent care / emergency, or can it wait?
I plan to travel to Arizona from Minnesota 11/20-11/30 with my family for the Holiday.
Should I be taking anything, or looking for signs & symptoms of anything? I'm a former Oncology Nurse. It hurts, and I'm scared; just don't know how urgent my follow up needs to be in relation to a favorable prognosis. Would a cyst be the only thing that would change in size? Big to small, and fluctuating rapidly. Could an infection cause this? Can lymph be trapped in the skull anywhere? Doubt I'll be able to get an appointment this week. I could arrange to get set up with tests. What would you recommend? Are there warnings for a brain hematoma, or lump of this sort that would warrant an immediate trip to ER?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 30 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for getting back with a lot of relevant queries and concerns.

I wish to reassure you that this need not be pursued on an emergency basis and the consultation & investigations can wait until you return from your holiday.

As I mentioned, the most likely possibilities are cyst and infection.

This does not look like brain hematoma. Also, you need not rush to ER.

As of now, please follow up the lump, in terms of size, increased warmth, tenderness to touch, any new lumps, etc.

There is no need to take anything now. However, if there are obvious signs of infection (such as fever, increased warmth, tenderness over the lump, etc), you may need to start a course of antibiotics. Also, if it is painful, you may take analgesics such as ibuprofen.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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