Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Ear Cyst

I received the results of my ear mole yesterday. They called and said the cyst was benign. I asked for them to send me the pathology report. So I received a "final diagnosis," "gross description," and a "microscopic description." I do what all doctors say not to do, but I'm an excellent googler. :)

I googled the final diagnosis: Seborrheic Keratosis. I'm satisified in their "benign" report based on things I saw on google. It is a benign form of a skin tumor and the cause is unknown. However it's most common after the age of 40 (I'm not there yet for Pete's sake!) and tends to run in families.

I then googled each of the words in the microscopic description. Of course I really didn't understand anything I read. So then I googled, "Seborrheic Keratosis on the ear" and found this article located at this web address: I'll bold the parts that I found interesting.


"Seborrheic keratosis (SK) is common in the head and neck region, but ear involvement is rare. SK results from intracellular changes that create intraepidermal basal cell proliferation. It presents as an oval verrucous plaque. Early, the lesion appears light yellow, and it becomes more brown as its size increases. Histologically, thickened epidermis secondary to accumulation of immature keratinocytes between the basal layer and the surface as well as invaginations of the thickened epithelium that create keratin tunnels are seen. The tumor protrudes above the horizontal plane of the skin. Complete surgical excision is recommended for SK, and a good prognosis is expected. Malignant transformation has been reported. "

I will say that it's odd that I got the "rare" location of the ear. However the rest of the thing proved true. It was kind of oval in shape, it was lighter in the beginning (but not light yellow) and grew brown. It did protrude above the skin. I'm glad it was removed considering the last sentence.

Then I googled for the image. Yep. Mine looked very much like some of the ones pictured. I won't be kind enough to let you see, but if you're interested --- google image seborrheic keratosis on the ear.

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