- A man in India had a tumor nearly the size of his head removed after 15 years
- The growth was a mesenchymal tumor, which accounts for one in a million cases
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A man in India who spent 15 years has had a cantaloupe-sized tumor that was bulging out the back of his head removed.
The unnamed 39-year-old told doctors that the growth started as a small lump toward the back of his neck when he was 24.
However, it slowly grew over time, ballooning to 20 by 15 centimeters, nearly the size of his head.
He finally sought medical help after years of living with constant neck pain, numb hands, difficulty walking, and sleeplessness. It had also taken a toll on his mental health.
An unnamed 39-year-old man in India spent 15 years walking around with a massive, incredibly rare tumor that grew over time
The surgical team was able to remove the entire tumor, and it’s believed that the patient made a full recovery
Doctors ruled that the growth was a mesenchymal tumor, which grows from stem cells that are found in bone marrow.
These cells are crucial for repairing skeletal tissues like bone and cartilage.
It’s unclear if the man’s tumor was cancerous, though these growths can be either benign or malignant.
Mesenchymal tumors are incredibly rare, as researchers estimate that there are fewer than one in one million cases in the head and neck per year in the US.
The man’s tumor was so large that it had begun to destroy the outer layer of his skull and was seeping into the inner layer.
It had damaged about four centimeters of his occipital bone, a small, flat bone in the back of the brain.
This bone supports the neck muscles and connects with areas of the spine that allow you to nod and shake your head.
Removing the tumor proved difficult for lead surgeon Dr Dinesh Dutt Sharma and his team, as cutting it out involved navigating nearby blood vessels in the neck and brain.
One wrong move could have proved fatal.
However, the doctors were able to remove the entire tumor.
The team said that the patient has made a full recovery.