After being treated for tuberculosis for almost six months, Lavkush Kanojia, 20, was shocked when city doctors told him he had a rare cancerous tumour in his chest.
On Monday, doctors at Saifee Hospital, Charni Road, operated on Kanojia and removed the 16-inch tumour from his chest cavity. The slowly growing tumour had compressed Lavkush’s lung and heart, making it difficult for him to breathe.
“I used to experience unbearable pain. When we visited doctors in our village in Uttar Pradesh, they asked us to get an X-ray done and put me on tuberculosis medications. We thought the drugs would treat me,” said Kanojia.
Even after the medication, when Kanojia didn’t feel any better, the family decided to bring him to Mumbai. “We were shocked to see that the tumour had compressed 2/3rd of his left lung. Two of his ribs were also broken because of the huge size of the tumour,” said Dr Anil Sanganeria, onco-surgeon, Saifee Hospital.
Doctors at the hospital conducted a biopsy, which showed that the tumour was malignant (cancerous) and required immediate attention. “Fortunately, the cancer had not spread to other parts of the body, giving him a better chance of survival,” said Dr Sanganeria.
During the surgery, doctors learnt that the tumour was stuck to the left lung, making it difficult to remove completely. “We had to surgically remove the outer layer of the left lung during the operation. Usually the lung is sacrificed in such surgeries, but we were able to save it,” added Sanganeria.
Though it was a high-risk surgery, both the family and the doctors decided to go ahead with it, as it was the last resort available. Kanojia will now have to undergo radiation and chemotherapy.