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Could a lump on my coccyx be cancerous?

Customer Question
I have a hard lump...

I have a hard lump on my tailbone; about the size of a marble- I am worried that this could be cancer. It comes and goes sporadically for the past two – three years. I have no other symptoms, no drainage or pus. Should I be concerned?

Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
7/10/2010
Doctor: Dr Uzair, Doctor replied 8 years ago
Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10,550
Experience: MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Welcome to JustAnswer. I shall try my best to assist you while you are corresponding with me.

Q. Does it hurt when you press on it?

Q. Does it move?

Q. Is it hard like bone or firm?

Q. Do you have hair on the back near or around the area this lump appears in?

Q. Occupation?

Q. Does it vanish completely and re appears?

Q. Have you had this examined by a doctor?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

It is tender in the general area when touched- does not feel movable. Feels hard like bone (perhaps I just have a large tailbone?)Not much- if any- hair around it. I am a stay at home mom and writer. The pain started off and on years ago, I'd say one-two times per year it flares up for several days. Most recently I had the pain during my pregnancy while taking baths, it would feel like I was sitting on a bump- I am now after baby- 4.5 months postpartum, this is the first tender re-occurrence. I never paid attention to the actual bone area until now when I felt it, and it feels larger than my husband's tailbone. I've never had it checked out before.

Doctor: Dr Uzair, Doctor replied 8 years ago

There are two conditions that come to mind after reading the details of your symptoms.

1) Pilonidal cyst (not sinus)

2) Coccydyna

A pilonidal cyst is a swelling that forms due to prolonged sitting and due to the negative pressure in the area of the anal cleft over the tail bone, hair follicles get sucked in and result in an infection which often bursts but sometimes, can form a cyst which comes and goes, especially when there is prolonged sitting or pressure over the coccyx. This can be diagnosed on clinical examination or an ultrasound. An appreciable tender swelling and a cystic feel will confirm the diagnosis. Treatment is surgical excision.

However, another condition known as coccydyna, is also a possibility in your case, keeping in mind your occupation (involves a lot of sitting) and especially the fact that the pain increased and recurred after child birth.

This condition is common in people who have larger tail bones and can be caused by sitting down too abruptly or falling on the back or sitting for prolonged hours or during child birth.

Symptoms are pain in the coccygeal area which aggravates on performing activities that put pressure on that area like sitting down, horse riding, bicycling or running. Some patients experience that the pain is increasing on bowel movements.

Treatment is mainly anti inflammatory pain killers like Ibuprofen (Advil) and Tylenol (Acetaminophen). The condition is sometimes characterized by a bony hard swelling that results due to inflammation and edema of the tissue especially the periosteum overlying the bone and this gives a tense and hard feeling. The swelling goes down after the person stops sitting and putting pressure on the coccyx when in pain to avoid aggravating the pain.

Doughnut cushions, soft seats, avoiding prolonged sitting and activities that exert pressure on the coccyx are all conservative measures to treat this pain and have been proved to be extremely effective along with anti inflammatories that I mentioned.

However, in very rare cases, when medical therapy fails, surgical treatment can be opted for, in this surgery, the coccyx is removed, it is known as coccygectomy.

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