A man in Hubei province desperately wants to know what caused the thick “horn” that’s been growing from his neck for over 30 years, he told local reporters.
Sixty-two-year-old Li Zhibing from Shiyan said that he used a saw to help maintain the growth by cutting it down to a nub two times a year, and if he lets it grow too long, his neck becomes swollen and he runs a fever.
He said that the horn gets in his way when he washes his hair and gets dressed, but it’s not really an inconvenience as much as it’s shocking to others, the Global Times reports.
The growth became noticeable in 1980. Li tried treating it with herbs from a mountain near his home, and not long after, the horn grow 15 centimeters outward from the back of his neck. Li actually believes that it was his home remedy that caused the horn to grow.
While he hasn’t had a diagnosis, the horn appears similar to a cutaneous horn—a rare growth composed of compacted keratin. In some cases, the growth can be associated with malignant or premalignant lesions. A cutaneous horn can be surgically removed.
One widely reported case of a person with a similar growth is Zhang Ruifang, a 101-year-old who lives in Linlou village, Henan province. Zhang says she’s refused to let doctors remove the horn growing off her forehead because she’s never had so many well-wishers and visitors until it began growing in 2009.
“I had some doctors who said they would cut it off for free but I told them no. In fact I’m quite looking forward to when the matching one has grown a bit,” she said.