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cyst on back of head causing heahache
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cyst on back of head causing heahache

I have been dealing with headaches on a daily bases for the last six months.  I have a lump on the base of my head on the right side.  I brought it to the attention of my  primary care doctor.  She said it was probably a cyst.  but didn't say what kind it is.  I have terrible headaches and it always starts from the area of the cyst.  It is not sore, but when pressure is put on it from laying , or sleeping it seems to start the headache.  So I have woke up with terrible headaches.  I have notice there is times when my vision in my right eye are blurred.  Should I be concerned?
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

I understand you are probably worried over your condition.Let me ask a few questions:

-how large is the cyst?
-when have you noted its appearance?
-in the past 6 months is there any rapid growth of the cyst?
-is it hard or soft? movable or not?
-any redness or discharge?
-any previous infections i.e. flu, pharyngitis
-any exposure to someone with tuberculosis?Tuberculosis may affect the lymph nodes and manifest as nodular lesions .


Lipoma, a sebaceous cyt or a boil may appear behind the neck.Lipomas are usuall doughy in character and may be sightly tender to the touch.A boil may start as small lump that may grow red and enlarge rapidly in a very short time.Boils usually end up exuding pus and are usually extremely tender and warm to the touch. Infection,nerve irritation or impingement and pressure caused by the cyst to surrounding tissues may lead to headaches.In your case, you have mentioned that the pain seem to start from the part where the cyst is situated.

Have you tried taking any pain relievers? Absence of redness and the presence of the cyst in your neck  for over 6 months may rule out an infection.I suggest you ask your physician regarding his/her opinion for a complete physical examination is required for better assesment.Some cysts may require a biopsy for further evaluation.

Watch out for  any associated weight loss,vomiting, discoloration of the skin, or change in the shape or character of the cyst for these may point to more serious condition.

Good Luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am female 49 .  The lump is round in shape and fifty cent piece size.  It is deep under the skin without any kind of infection or redness of any sort.  the pain comes from deep within.  sometimes even streaks of pain will hit.  I use excedrine miagraine and it helps some, but still has a dull hurt until it quits on its own.  It is hard not soft at all. I haven't had the flu in years, don't recall being around anyone with any major disease.  In the last six months it has steadily gotten bigger.  like I said my doctor said it was a cyst but don't what kind.  She didn't order any test to find out what is was..but she did say I should think about it before I let anyone cut on my head.  It effects my vision in my right eye where I had almost perfect vision. thanks for your help.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

Taking excedrine migraine may only relieve your headaches temporarily. For headaches caused by an underlying problem such as soft tissue swelling ,the primary cause has to be treated first.You described the lump as hard and not soft.Would you condsider this as fluctuant? Is it matted or nodular?

I suggest you seek consult with a medical oncologist. A CT scan or MRI may aid in characterizing the lesion and the involvement of surrounding tissues.We have to establish on whether this lesion is directly responsible for your eye problem.A complete eye examination is needed to rule out a more central and serious condition.

Watch out for any difficulty in swallowing ,unexplained weight loss or any other palpated mass in the body.At this point, the lump is causing some degree of discomfort.Since the neck is a highly complex structure where most of your nerves and main blood vessels pass through it is important to have a complete assessment prior to surgical intervention.

Good Luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
it isn't like a boil or a skin cancer type nodule it is smooth.  The only way I know how to describe it is like a knot under the skin.  Almost bony feeling.. that might not be the word for it, but that is the way I see it.  
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

It sounds like a well defined growth.

You may ask your physician regarding an MRI to evaluate this further. In the way you describe it shouldn't cause much alarm except that it has caused you much discomfort already.

Have you consulted with an oncologist?

Keep me posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you for your help....why do you think I need to see an oncologist?  I guess I am dumb when it comes to things like this.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn

Hi,

A medical oncologist might be able to give a more thorough assessment of the lump.You have described it to be hard , almost bony in character. For your peace of mind, a specialist may be able to help.

All the best,
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Avatar_dr_f_tn

Hi,

A medical oncologist might be able to give a more thorough assessment of the lump.You have described it to be hard , almost bony in character. For your peace of mind, a specialist may be able to help.

All the best,
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Avatar_m_tn
About 30 years ago, I noticed a small, hard, and very painful  nodule on the back of my head; it felt as if my head was resting on a pebble. I ended up having it removed, and the pathology lab called it a plexiform neurofibroma (basically, a fibrous neuroma [benign tumor] consisting of deteriorated nerve tissue). The neuroma was growing on the left greater occipital nerve, and nowadays would be called an occipital neuroma. Unfortunately, the surgery did not alleviate the pain, and more neuromas popped up. This started a pain cycle that has made my life a living hell.

Please consult a neurologist, and get at least one other opinion if surgery is suggested.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello rshayes,

I came across your post. I have very similar symptoms to yours. I've had headaches for the past 4+ months.  They started mostly on the left side of my head and were pretty bad for awhile. I was dizzy and just in constant pain and discomfort. I've had CT scans and MRI's and have been to a bunch of doctors.  I have a lump on the back left of my head that seems to radiate pain up into my head and down my neck.  The doctors think its a tension type headache and I've been on many medications to prevent them.  Nothing came up in my mri or ct scan...so the doctors basically think im making it up.  However the lump on my head is somewhat soft and moveable. Not quite hard like bone, but not super soft either. It constantly aches in that area and as the day goes on usually gets worse. I wake up with a sore neck every morning and I always feel pain radiating from that area.  When I apply ice it seems to help, try that if you haven't already.  Two of my doctors say that it's a swollen lymph node, but it's a little high in my head to be that and the other two say its a fat pad (lipoma).  Yes you can get headaches from them, I know someone who had them and when she got the lump removed they went away.  Keep pushing for medical attention or a biopsy of the cyst.  You know your own body and when nothing else seems to make sense, sometimes you are your own best doctor.  If you want to talk more about it, please e-mail me at ***@****.  Thanks :)
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks for your post and I would email but you didn't leave an email address....please leave our email by clicking on my name..I would appreciate it so much.  Look forward to talking to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
what would make the lump throb with pain?
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

An infection that is progessing or an underlying blood vessel may cause a lump to throb or appear to throb.If the lump is nerve related , a hypersensitive nerve that isi rritated or compressed may cause pain but not throbbing in character. Nerve related pain is usually stabbing, burning or shooting. Pain caused by infection or inflammation  throbs due to dilation of blood vessels caused by the inflammation.

Is there any redness over the area?

Any change in the lump's character?

Have you consulted with a specialist?

Keep us posted.

I hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
there is no redness, seems to be about the same.  I haven't consulted  a specialist yet, because I couldn't get an appointment until March. It don't throb constantly, but every once in a while it will throb for a min. and then quit. Sometimes if feels like there is some pressure there.
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561591_tn?1216091450
I have been reading theses post.  I have the same symptoms.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a similar problem going on now except the cyst is on top of my head and fluctuates in size.  Two years ago I had 3 pillar cysts removed on my head but they were not giving me any problems.  The one that I have now is in a different spot on my head and it has a dull ache and will sometimes radiate pain all over my head.  I usually end up with a migraine before the day is over.  What was the outcome of yours?
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Can you elaborate on the cyst? These could be folliculitis or sebacious cysts as well. You may benefit from further evaluation for proper diagnosis. Warm pack and preventive medications for migraine may help provide relief. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a red cyst like bump on the back of my head it started as a small pimple like bump so i picked at it and it became a scab and i continued to pick at it now it is a big bright red bubble and I have been having headaches. please help
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? If the bump is infected, it may have other symptoms such as pain, swelling and even fever. You may need to have this checked for proper evaluation. Antibiotic manageemnt may be indicated for infection. Try also to avoid picking or scratching on the lesion to prevent secondary infection. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? If the bump is infected, it may have other symptoms such as pain, swelling and even fever. You may need to have this checked for proper evaluation. Antibiotic manageemnt may be indicated for infection. Try also to avoid picking or scratching on the lesion to prevent secondary infection. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this lump at the back of my head on the right side, slightly above the hairline and near the ear. It developed a few days ago. I noticed yesterday that on the left side at that same position there was some pain there as well. Today, I started experiencing bloatedness in my stomach and the normal ways I use to curb it hasn't been working. I've also started feeling queasy and nauseated because of it. The only time the queasiness will stop is when I'm having my meals. But after awhile, it'll return. A headache has also developed through the day, and now it is really rather unbearable and I'm finding it very hard to concentrate on my school work :(

I really am clueless of what is going on. Could you please help me out? I'm quite stressed out and worried as I have a thesis due in slightly less than 2 weeks and I need all the time and energy I have now the complete it. Your help will be greatly appreciated!


Many thanks,
Sum
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I have a hard lump on the back of my head, right above the hairline on my left side. It has been there for 2+ months and is bigger than before. I've had issues with headaches and other issues with dizziness/nausea. The other day, I felt like I was going to pass out, almost like low blood pressure? My level of tiredness has increased rapidly. I'm always tired. It is starting to affect my work and school. I have an appointment with my General Practitioner, but I would like some advice as to A) what this might be and B) anything I should ask her during my appointment, if I need to. I appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Was there trauma to this part previously? Are there other symptoms like fever or pain? On behalf of Dr Vanessa, this could be due to possible  lymphadenitis, which  is an infection of the lymph nodes or cysts such as sebacious cysts. Lymphadenitis occurs when the lymph glands become enlarged by inflammation, usually in response to bacteria, viruses, or fungi.  A complete physical examination is important. If indicated, further diagnostic tests such as biopsy and culture of the affected area or node may reveal the cause of the inflammation. If there is infection, antibiotic treatment may be started. Cold compress and pain medication may also help provide relief. However, it may take weeks, or even months, for swelling to disappear. The amount of time until recovery occurs will vary depending on the underlying cause.Take care and regards
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Avatar_f_tn
I have got two deep cysts over night. They dont seem to be causing that much pain; however, I am starting to notice weight lost. Why is weight loss a bad sign.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I have read everyones posts here and couldn't help but contribute.  I have had the same headache in the back right side of my head for over 10 years.  I have done everything.  I take tramadol to help with the pain.  Recently I am now having trouble concentrating, staying focused, staring and have limited energy.  I have always been active but now, feel very overwhelmed with this problem.  I have had my neck fused, which was supposed to help the nerves did little to help.  I have had sleep studies done, now where a mask at night, does some good.  Even after a full nights sleep still feel tired.  I will sometimes have a red wine at night, it seems to be the only thing that gets me temporary relief.  I recently noticed a small lump on the back right side of my neck.  My doctor took a look at it and said it would not be a contributing factor to the headaches.  Cant help but think that the muscles on the back rightside of my neck along with the headaches and this lump are not connected in someway.  I have scheduled an appointment with a surgeon to get his take on this.   I am tired of living with this and get jeleous when I see people even laughing.  Wondering what it must feel to live without pain.  Best of luck to everyone I will let you know how it turns out.  
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi Steve,
How are you? Imaging studies may also help rule out any musculoskleletal issues. Try also to identify the possible triggers of the headache so you can avoid them. Direct evaluation of the lump by a surgeon would really help. Do keep us posted with your consult and take care always.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had a hard lump at the front of my head for many years where I experienced a lot of trauma at that time, it makes me nauseous to touch it but not very, I only just considered that no one in my family has a strange head like mine.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have a lump about quarter sze on the back of my hair line  i have had it a couple years  but it has growed  the last couple of days it has gottren sore and red and seems to be swelling but the lump aint as big   does anyone have any advice  thanks kathy
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello

My name is Alexis and I to have a peanut size lump on the back of my head (left side). In early october I experienced excruciating headaches on only the left side of my head accompanied with musle jerking, dizziness, nausea sharp pains on left side, sore scalp,dull pains at times and extreme throbbing. I saw my doc and she figured I was suffering from chronic migraine. I got a mri and nothing was found. I had those headaches every day 3-7 times a day for about 2 months. The headaches stopped for about 2 1/2 months before coming back. In march they began again just not as much. Today I awake with a horrible headache accompanied by nausea(i almost threw up) dizziness, and fatigue. I also noticed a peanut sized lump on the back left side of my head. I took alieve but it only took the edge off. The lump doesn't move, its tender to the touch and if I lay my head down my headache gets worst. Tonight my headache is dull and still continues. I plan on setting an appointment but does anyone know what this could be??
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello

My name is Alexis and I to have a peanut size lump on the back of my head (left side). In early october I experienced excruciating headaches on only the left side of my head accompanied with musle jerking, dizziness, nausea sharp pains on left side, sore scalp,dull pains at times and extreme throbbing. I saw my doc and she figured I was suffering from chronic migraine. I got a mri and nothing was found. I had those headaches every day 3-7 times a day for about 2 months. The headaches stopped for about 2 1/2 months before coming back. In march they began again just not as much. Today I awake with a horrible headache accompanied by nausea(i almost threw up) dizziness, and fatigue. I also noticed a peanut sized lump on the back left side of my head. I took alieve but it only took the edge off. The lump doesn't move, its tender to the touch and if I lay my head down my headache gets worst. Tonight my headache is dull and still continues. I plan on setting an appointment but does anyone know what this could be??
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi I have had skull xray and scan that came back saying I have a sebaceous cyst/ lump at the back left of my head and where the lump/cyst is on my head there is a small spot of alopecia which was what caused to me to see a doctor about it as well as my headache symptoms. I'm becoming worried however because my alopecia is worsening on that spot and my headaches are becoming more frequent and painful,the thing that is scaring me most is the pressure build up I get along with the headache.Any form of concentrating I do seems to spur it on more and within 10 minutes I get severe pressure pain at the back of my head which causes me to feel dizzy, nausea and confusion,It feels like my head is going to explode the pressure is that strong.Also have noticed sight in my right eye becomes unfocused and blurry at times.Does anyone know what is causing this ,can cysts grow because Im worried incase it is?,
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Avatar_m_tn
I, too had a cyst on top of my head (along with 1 behind my ear and one on my jawline) I got these last 2 removed first. I recently got the one on my head removed.
I went to 2 neurologists, 2 primary care doctors a dermatologist and an opthoneurologist  and got a Catscan with nothing wrong and they all said the same thing. Cysts wouldn't typically cause these headaches. I was diagnosed with Cronic (chronic) Migraines. I insisted on getting them removed. All I can say is AHHHH, although it wasn't big, it did have a blood blister attached to it. I haven't had a headache in a week! I have 3 kids and a man at home and everyone thought "STRESS" was the main cause......but let me tell you, if you have a cyst on your head get it removed. If it doesn't help at least you know. That's how I went into getting it removed. I haven't gone this long without a headache in years!!! I am so happy I could just cry, but instead I want to scream from the rooftops and if this helps 1 person I would be so happy!!!!!
Good luck to all!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, my name is Linae,

I too have a cyst, but it is deep down in my brain. Ive been having headaches, constantly for the last 7 months. It is very painful to even think about. It stops me from doing ALOT of what I use to do, I need help doing certain things! Ive been to Dr. after Dr. No one seems to be able to tell me whats going on. Ive even seen a surgeon who told me he wont remove it! Ive gotten test after test still not getting any answers.

Stuck with not knowing what to do next!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I was very pleased to come across your comment. I have a sebaceous cyst behind my right ear an one on my face. I have had these as long as I can remember, an I'm 37.  On Sunday I ended up in e.r cause the one behind ear was tender and my ear was sore also had shooting pains in my head. The e.r said it was infected and wrote anti biotic an pain med. Mon. I called E.N.T cause of location e.r wouldn't touch it. Went to E.N.T Monday afternoon an set up surgery for wed. Well even after two days of anti biotic an spacing the few pain pills I was written, I am still having debilitating pains shooting in my head. I'm praying when its removed my headaches and thus newly shooting pain, go away. I wanted to ask if anyone that has experienced infected cyst on head, if they had knots, which are also cysts, start popping up. I have a whole bunch appear on top of head, N so tender and painful I can't touch my head. Also with in hours of leaving e.r two more lumps appeared on neck, an continue to keep popping up all over my head. Feedback needed, an greatly appreciating.q
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Avatar_f_tn
I NOTICE THAT I HAVE A CYST ON MY WRAIST N ONE ON EACH SIDE OF MY HEAD IN THEY HURT N GIVEING ME A BAD HEADACE OUT THIS WORLD THEY CAME AROUND 3 DAY AGO... CAN SUM BODY HELP ME PLEASE
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Avatar_m_tn
Sebaceous cysts are lumps that are usually rather hard and are full of a white milky colored cheesy looking material. they are sweat glands full of  They are  encapsulated in a small sack and can be removed by a surgeon. I had two rather large quarter sized ones on my back that had been there for years and all of a sudden they gave a lot of pressure and were infected and red and painful. They were infected. So I had a plastic surgeon remove them. You don't want them drained or lanced because they will come right back, you want a surgeon who will remove the whole sweat gland sack as they will not return if that is done. A dermatologist will also remove them if they are not on your head or face..in that case they want a plastic surgeon or a neurosurgeon to do the surgery. I am VERY glad I finally got those taken care of.
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