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Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 9506
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Weeks I've noticed a painful lump on the top of my ear

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For 2 weeks I`ve noticed a painful lump on the top of my ear on the cartilage. It`s small and oval with the outside area red and inflamed. The inner part of the lump is paler in colour but with no veins or anything remarkable about it. It especially hurts when I lay on it at night. I`ve tried popping it but no luck, it feels hard. I`m concerned it could be cancer, would a cancer be this sore and inflamed?
Hi and thanks for the query.This is most likely an inflamed sebaceous cyst or folliculitis and if it is red, hot and tender, then it is infected as well. This can lead to formation of an abscess (collection of pus).I suggest that you visit the A and E and have this lanced and drained, if it is an abscess and if it has not become an abscess yet, then antibiotics should be prescribed so that this settles soon.Let me know if you have any queries about this.Please do leave a positive rating for the service.Best wishes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you doctor but I `ve had a sebacious cyst before and this isn`t like that. This is hard where before it was softer. My main concern is could a cancerous lump be painful after noticing it for just 2 weeks
You are right, sebaceous cysts are innocent, but when they get infected, this is how they present. It could well be a follicular cyst that has inflamed. No, cancers do not present like this in this area. Squamous cell carcinomas are common on the ear and present as ulcers which are not hot or inflamed. Please do leave a positive rating. Best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I get a cyst on the bone/ cartilage? It is at the very top of my ear. Would any cancer present with pain? As you can tell this is worrying me a lot
The cyst is not in the bone, it is in the skin and since, on the ear, there is no subcutaenous fat under the skin and the cartilage is right under the skin, any cyst appears to be on the cartilage. Cancers can present with pain, however, the description you gave, it seems more likely to be an infected cyst and not otherwise. It would be wise to visit the A and E for proper treatment and peace of mind.Please do leave a positive rating.Best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help, can you tell me before I go which cancers would present with pain?
Cancers do not typically present with pain on this area. Squamous cell carcinoma however can cause some pain occasionally.Please do not forget to leave a positive rating. Best.
Let me know if you have further questions.
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