Surgeons at New Jersey’s Riverview Medical Center in Red Back removed a monstrous 51-pound/23kg cancerous tumor from a 65-year old lady, who had delayed seeking treatment for more than a month in order to become eligible for Medicare.
The lady, who is only known as Evelyn did not have health insurance and so waited until her 65th birthday to go to doctors about the massive growth in her stomach. Dr David Dupree led the surgery on Evelyn described her as “all belly.” Prior to the growth of the gargantuan tumor, Evelyn weighed just 120-pounds and was of slim build. When she first sought medical help, her weight had ballooned up to 170-pounds. The tumor weighed more than a third of the woman’s usual bodyweight!!
In an attempt to try and visualize 51-pounds I looked up average weights of children, several charts and statistics stated that an average 7-year old should weigh approximately 50 pounds. Wow, imagine carrying around a 7-year-old all that…That really is a giant tumor!!!
Evelyn noticed something was wrong between 6-8 weeks before turning up at the hospital, she felt discomfort in her abdomen and noticed that she was putting on weight rather quickly.
By the time she was seen by Dr Dupree, her health was rapidly deteriorating, her legs had swollen with trapped blood, she was terribly dehydrated and the tumor was crushing her inferior vena cava – which is one of the main veins that returns blood to the heart! Dr Dupree said that she was far too weak to go into surgery and had to allow some time for her blood pressure to regulate and for her to become rehydrated and so he scheduled surgery for the following week.
However Dupree noticed that the woman was becoming short of breath on Sunday evening and brought the surgery forward because he did not believe that she would survive through the night!
When Dupree and his team opened up the woman, they discovered the massive tumor – a malignant sarcoma had engulfed many of her internal organs and had to be cut away “millimeter by millimeter” in an operation that took 5 hours!
Since the surgery Evelyn has been recovering in a rehabilitation centre and has declined to be interviewed. Though she is out of immediate danger, she will have to consult with an oncologist and may need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation to treat the cancer. Dr Dupree advised other uninsured patients not to delay seeking medical treatment if they felt unwell. He claims that the hospital would have operated on the woman despite her lack of insurance. But he did add that he did not know how much money it would cost her.
It is reading about stories like this that make me appreciate the UK’s NHS, it must be a really horrible feeling to be so unwell, but know that you cannot seek treatment because you are unable to pay for it. It wasn’t like she just had a dodgy stomach either, I mean this woman must have known there was something seriously wrong with her for quite some time before she got it treated!
51-Pound Tumor Removed From Woman (Via Boing Boing)