For almost a year, 52-year-old Franca (name changed) walked around like a heavily pregnant woman. Doctors told her she had large tumours in the uterus, fibroids, that made her belly swell abnormally.
“They told me it was simple fibroid but too big for us to be able to operate,” said Franca.
On April 1, however, in a four-hour surgery, doctors at New Delhi’s Fortis La Femme Hospital took out a cancerous growth weighing 12.5 kg from her uterus.
“It was a solid mass of 24X28cm size. She had a rare type of cancer that spreads faster than other forms. In my 35 years of practice, I have neither seen such a huge mass nor have I read about it in any literature,” said Dr Vimal Grover, professor and senior consultant (obstetrics and gynaecology) at the hospital, who led the four-member surgical team.
Originating from the uterus, Franca’s tumour had spread across the entire abdomen and even touched her liver
Because of the immense weight, she had trouble eating, breathing and even standing.
Medically termed as carcino sarcoma, it is one of the most aggressive types of cancers. Five-year survival rate for women suffering from this type of cancer is not more than 30%.
Fortunately for her, despite having reached stage four of the cancer, she was fit enough to undergo — what doctors called ‘long and high-risk’ — surgery.
“She took the news of her cancer quite boldly. Positive people like her always respond well during surgeries. Thankfully there was no infection or injury to the organ,” said Dr Grover.
Franca was discharged on April 10 and is presently undergoing chemotherapy.