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Have mass on outside of the skull. Wanted to get the bone mass removed. Should I worry?

Dec 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1694 Questions
I have a mass on the outside of my skull that has been there for years, as long as I can remember in my adult life anyway.

I saw a general surgeon today and he noted that because the mass is hard and not mobile he is sending me to a neurosurgeon tomorrow. This may be a 't bone' mass. I just wanted to get the 'horn' removed. Is this something I should worry about and continue to proceed with. I have a medical insurance 'cadillac' plan and thanks to our government, I will lose after this year.
Posted Wed, 25 Sep 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Probably not a serious problem

Detailed Answer:

thanks for posting on XXXXXXX

It is most likely a benign skull tumor. Subcutaneous nodules of the scalp are common and usually benign (not cancerous). Most of them are cyst, lipoma, fibroadenoma etc but too might possible be malignant tissue (cancerous).
I totally understand why the general surgeon had to send you to a neurosurgeon as the possibility of any skull or scalp mass infiltrating into the skull and maybe to the brain should always be envisaged. So attempting to excise a mass without being sure of where it is rooted is always a risk that most doctors do not want to take.
I personally send my patients for x-ray and for those who can afford CT scan then perform a biopsy for determination of the type of mass (this is only after I am unsure of my physical findings). Ones I am sure of what I am dealing with, I can then refer the patient to the competent specialist or excise the mass myself.
Given the duration of the mass, I do not think it is something to worry much about. It might be fixed but it does not mean it is malignant or rooted deep into the skull bone but rather could be thick fibrotic tissue with multiple sticky surfaces on the skull. For esthetic reasons, you might have to continue with the process of seeing a neurosurgeon (even if the tumor remains there, I do not think it is going to cause you any more harm).

Hope this helps and wish you the best.
Dr. Nsah
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