In a rare medical anomaly reported at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here, a man suffering from lung cancer has developed breasts. The case has become a subject of international debate, getting reported in premier medical journal The Lancet.
According to the case study reported in the April issue of the journal, a 60-year-old labourer (name withheld) reported at the department of pulmonary medicine, PGIMER, in September 2012 with complaint of pain in the right shoulder, cough and weight loss.
During a physical examination, doctors found that he was suffering from gynaecomastia - a condition in which breasts start developing among men. He was also found afflicted with galactorrhoea, a condition in which breasts start oozing milk.
"We detected that it was a case of gynaecomastia, galactorrhoea and lung cancer," said Dr Navneet Singh, an assistant professor in the department, and a co-author of the case study.
"Gynaecomastia associated with galactorrhoea is a very rare phenomenon of lung cancer. A review of world medical literature reveals that there are just two previously reported cases of lung cancer associated with galactorrhoea," said Dr D Behera, a professor in the department and another co-author of the case study.
As per the study report, the labourer had a history of smoking 20 bidis a day for the past 40 years.
"It is rare that a cancer starts producing cells which lead to such changes. The last time I saw a similar case was in 1987," said Dr Behera.
As per The Lancet report, this is the first reported case of lung cancer associated with galactorrhoea which was resolved with systematic chemotherapy. The labourer visits PGIMER periodically for treatment.