In China, a 59-year-old woman came into the emergency room this month with an enlarged belly as if waiting for triplets. She actually had a 77-pound ovarian tumor. The woman who is in her fifties had surgery and is now out of danger.
The setting is worthy of a horror movie. In China, a 59-year-old woman found herself with an enlarged belly as though she was waiting for triplets. Except that it was actually a 77-pound ovarian tumor, the Daily Mail reported on December 17. Never seen anything like this before, according to the doctors who treated her. Fortunately, the tumor was benign and the patient is recovering.
In December, Mrs. Huang presented herself at Harbin University Medical Hospital in Harbin, northeast China. Her belly was abnormally swollen and she complained that she had difficulty breathing. The doctors took some tests which showed a giant growth that occupied her entire pelvic cavity, so much so that her liver, gallbladder, spleen, and kidneys were invisible. Mrs. Huang had an ovarian tumor that weighted 77-pound.
“I’ve been a doctor for 38 years and I’ve seen many large tumors, but I’ve never seen one like this,” Professor Li Peiling, a doctor in the hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology department told the Chinese media. “She was thin as a stick, but her belly was very big as if she was pregnant with twins or triplets,” she said.
After making the diagnosis, Li and her colleagues spent 90 minutes operating on the patient, removing about 33 liters of thick, brown but harmless liquid from her ovarian tumor, a benign mucinous cystadenoma of the ovary. It is a group of non-cancerous cells. The patient then spent 24 hours in intensive care before being transferred to a regular hospital room.
According to Professor Li, ovarian tumors are the most common form of benign tumors in women. They can affect women of all ages but are often diagnosed late, as patients tend not to seek care until the tumor begins to exert pressure on neighboring organs.
In Mrs. Huang’s case, “at first her tummy was a little swollen, but she thought it was just air and she didn’t want to go to the hospital,” her daughter said. It wasn’t until the lump had grown so much that it blocked her breathing that she decided to go to the emergency room. For now, she’s still in the hospital, recovering.
In the US, ovarian cancer ranks fifth among women after breast, colon, uterine and stomach cancer. Approximately 22,240 new cases are diagnosed each year. In most cases, symptoms do not appear until the disease is advanced. They can be digestive, gynecological (abnormal vaginal discharge, menstrual disorders, bleeding, breast tenderness, etc.) or related to the size of the tumors ranging from urinary flow to pelvic pain and, as in the case of Mrs. Huang, an increase in the volume of the abdomen and a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen.
When one or more of these manifestations appear and persist without explanation, it is recommended that a doctor be consulted who will perform a clinical examination (palpation of the abdomen, lymph nodes, breast examination, vaginal examination, etc.), supplemented by possible biological or imaging tests.