This was the one case where someone wanted to lose their marbles.
Doctors were shocked over the case of a woman in India, who had a bulging growth on her head that was filled with white globules like a “sack of marbles.”
The “uncommon” affliction was detailed recently in the journal “Radiology” by doctors at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences.
The unnamed 52-year-old Bangalore native told doctors that the protuberance had been growing on her scalp since childhood, but that had never sought medical help until now.
The study didn’t disclose why the patient waited so long to have it checked out, however, medics noted that the growth was “painless.”
By the time she finally reported to the hospital, the mass had ballooned up to nearly 6 inches long, 4 inches wide and nearly five inches tall.
Accompanying MRI scans show the cyst on the back of her head like a fleshy hair bun.
Upon removing the growth, medics noticed that the lesion was filled with fluid, hair, fatty molecules with “thick outer rims,” and balls of keratin of varying sizes. For the uninitiated, this protein forms the basis for hair, nails and the outer layer of the skin.
These grisly, gumball-esque masses are known in scientific circles as dermoid cysts, spheres of tissue that develop from embryonic cells and can contain “hair, teeth or nerves,” per the Cleveland Clinic.
Generally first forming at birth, these globules often develop in the head and neck but may also present in the patient’s ovaries, spine or other parts of the body.
It’s yet unclear why these congenital orbs sprout up in the first place, however, they’re usually harmless and painless.
Nonetheless, these tapioca-esque globs can cause complications ranging from infections and damage to nearby bones (depending on their location), in which case surgical intervention is necessary.
The Cleveland Clinic advises patients to seek medical treatment immediately if the nodule causes pain, changes color, grows, or ruptures.
In the aforementioned case, medics kept tabs on the woman’s progress for six months following the mass’s removal, whereupon they noted that there was “no recurrence” of the growth.
In a similarly unsettling incident in 2022, a woman was horrified after discovering her pregnancy was actually an egg-sized cyst with hair and teeth growing inside her uterus.
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