Liang Xiuzhen, the 87-year-old is a resident of Guiyan village in Ziyang City, in south-west China’s Sichuan Province.
The villager has become known to local residents as the ‘unicorn woman’ since the abnormal growth has appeared and taken over the top of her head.
According to Wang Chaojun, Xiuzhen’s son, his mother had something resembling a “black mole” growing on her head seven or eight years ago.
Chaojun said: “My mother complained about this mole-like growth on her head that itched all the time.
“We found ways to cure her itch using traditional Chinese medicine, and then left it be.”
Two years ago however, the mole gave way to a small horn-like mass the size of a little finger.
Xiuzhen accidentally “broke” the small horn this February, and in its place her current horn began growing rapidly over the past six months.
Chaojun said: “Now the horn hurts my mother and prevents her from sleeping. It also bleeds from time to time.”
Chaojun said doctors believe they can remove the growth through surgery, but the family has its reservations due to Xiuzhen’s old age and are considering other options.
“My mother is old, and the horn is on her head which is a very sensitive area. I’m not confident in the surgery,” he added. “If something goes wrong, it would be terrible.”
The horn is apparently something called a cutaneous horn, also known by the Latin name cornu cutaneum. While they are usually small and benign, some can prove to be much larger and in some cases malignant.