Doctors in China were presented with a rare medical condition recently.
Liang Xiuzhen from Sichuan, south west China, came to them with what appeared to be a horn on her head.
The 87-year-old has had the growth for approximately two years and it’s still growing, reported People’s Daily Online.
According to reports, around eight years ago, Liang Xiuzhen had a black mole in the area where the horn is now growing.
It started itching so the family started treating it with a local herbal remedy. As the remedy worked without side effects, the family just carried on using it without concerns.
Two years ago, the mole split open and a small horn started growing from the skin.
In the beginning, it was just about the size of the little finger and around an inch long.
The pensioner’s son, Wang Zhaojun, said: ‘We went to the hospital and the doctors couldn’t diagnose the growth.
‘My mother doesn’t like going to the hospital because she thinks that she won’t be able to come back home if she goes.’
As the growth didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, the family ignored it.
Earlier this year, when Wang Zhaojun was washing her mother’s hair, she accidentally ‘knocked off’ the horn.
Another growth soon replaced the original horn and started growing rapidly.
Within a space of six months, it had grown to a horn measuring five inches in length and just over two inches in diameter.
The solid growth now resembles an animal horn in shape and colour.
However, the skin around the horn is red raw and occasionally blood seeps through.
Speaking about her condition, Liang Xiuzhen said: ‘At the moment it’s just painful. Sometimes it’s so painful it will wake me up from sleep.’
Doctors have identified the growth as a cutaneous horn.
The structure can be removed using surgery, depending on the physical fitness of the patient.
However, due to the fact that the horn has been growing so quickly, doctors are also worried that the growth may be cancerous.
Wang Zhaojun hopes that he might be able to persuade his mother to get treatment if available.
Although the condition is rare, it’s not the first time that it’s been reported.
In 2010, a Chinese woman aged 101 was reported to have a ‘devil’ horn growing from her head.
Zhang Ruifang from Henan, central China, had a growth measuring just over 2 inches growing from her forehead.
It is not known if Ms Zhang received treatment for her growth.