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Have hard movable bump on bone behind ear. Worried for cancer

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 8985 Questions
Yes I have a hard bump on the bone behind my ear I ve had it for a long time sometimes it's gets sore when I wear glasses . I'm scared that it is something bad. It is mobile and most painless .
Posted Mon, 1 Apr 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 28 minutes later
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing to us.

I have read your query and the possible causes for this lump located on the bone behind your ear (which is called the mastoid), are the following:
-Sebaceous cyst (this can present as a movable lump)
-Mastoiditis (ruled out, as there wont be a mobile/movable mass)
or a few other causes.

In my opinion you should visit a doctor (an ENT specialist or a neurologist), to get yourself examined, as only a physical examination can assist in making the most appropriate diagnosis. This can also be followed by either an x-ray, CT scan or an MRI.

I am sure this is nothing serious, and after thorough investigations if the doctor feels it is harmless, then no treatment might even be required. In the meantime, please avoid putting pressure or injuring this area, till a physical examination by a doctor.

I hope I have succeeded in providing the information you were looking for. Do write back to me for any further clarifications.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have hard movable bump on bone behind ear. Worried for cancer 8 minutes later
What are the chances of this being cancer? Are those cysts cancerous or dangerous?
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 7 minutes later
Hello once again.

No these cysts are almost never cancerous. In majority of cases with such presentation, doctors do not even advise any treatment,as these cysts usually subside by themselves.

But, we cannot still reach a conclusion of it being a cyst without a physical examination.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have hard movable bump on bone behind ear. Worried for cancer 3 minutes later
Would this kind of cyst be there for years bc I'm pretty sure it has been there for several years. I ve become a very big worrier lately and my safety glasses for work this week have made it sore, so therefore I'm stressing about it more.
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 5 minutes later
Yes, ma'am. There are chances of this kind of cyst lasting for years, and yet be totally harmless. My cousin has one from the past 16 years, and does not feel it necessary to get it removed.

Once all conditions that might require treatment have been ruled out, and the cause for your condition has been found to be harmless, may be you could shift to more comfortable glasses, which would not irritate the lump.

Stressing about it will not help ma'am, once you visit a doctor and are informed about the diagnosis, which I am hoping is simple, then you can rest without having to worry.

Do make that visit to the the doctor and take care.

Best wishes.
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