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2davidc8's avatar

Mexico doctors remove woman's 130-pound tumor: how can a tumor get so large without killing the patient already?

Asked by 2davidc8 (7730points) August 13th, 2014

How can a tumor get so large without anyone suspecting that something is wrong? Here is the link to the news story

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22 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

1. It is Mexico, which is pretty much a third world country.
2. She did not leave her house for years.
3. It is a general societal trait to not pay heed to others unless being specifically told about it.
thousands of children starve to death each year, and nobody bats an eye. But one 2nd rate actor kills himself, and everybody loses their minds.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess the same way people can be 300 pounds and not die. It doesn’t say if the tumor was benign or cancerous. I am going to assume it was benign.

jca's avatar

I saw a show (documentary) about someone who had a tumor, don’t remember how much it weighed, but it was the size of a person and it was just a disgusting mass of ripply flesh, like a huge bag of cottage cheese. How someone could have that and not get it taken care of I don’t know. I think if it were me, as soon as it got to maybe grape-size at the biggest, I’d be at the dermatologist.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca It wasn’t on her skin it was in her ovary. I actually think it must mean on her ovary. Spanish uses the exact same word for in and on and I think it is a translation error.

snowberry's avatar

@jca Some folks don’t have the luxury of being able to simply go to a doctor to have a small tumor removed. They’re too poor, and life is simply too difficult. When life happened to her (as it does to us all), the tumor grew to a size that after a while she was too big to go out.

And she might have actually gone to a doctor, but going to one and having surgery are vastly different things. The price of surgery even with insurance is exorbitant to a poor person. My guess is (the article doesn’t say) that friends/relatives finally got the ear of an interested benefactor or were somehow able to raise the money for treatment.

Aster's avatar

How can it get so large without killing the patient? Maybe the patient lived because she didn’t have chemotherapy and radiation after the removal.

snowberry's avatar

@Aster Not all tumors are cancerous. Here are several of different types, and some of them are extremely large.

Edit: Ooops, forgot to add the link! And notice that in many of these stories it says the people couldn’t afford to be treated.

JLeslie's avatar

I have tumors around my uteris like millions of other women.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

These sort of stories fascinate me.

A tumor that weighs ten pounds less than I do.

Haleth's avatar

I can’t believe it took two years for her daughter to get her to see a doctor. JFC.

Aster's avatar

@snowberry I thought people die from benign tumors? My friend’s brother had a benign brain tumor and he died.

ibstubro's avatar

It’s had to imagine that a 130 pound tumor contained within a human body would constrict or displace something radically enough to cause serious health issues, if not death. What the tumor had to displace is amazing.

However, the article is sketchy enough to qualify as tabloid journalism, in my opinion. Something that ABC would (and should) have looked down upon, for decades.

jca's avatar

@snowberry: I understand that not everyone has health insurance.

@Aster: The effect of the tumor depends on its location. Tumor on a brain is different and can have very debilitating effects on someone’s health in more ways than we realize.

@ibstubro: I saw something similar on TV, as I said before, so it was more than just a story. They showed the tumor attached to the patient. It was the size of a person.

snowberry's avatar

@Aster Sure, you can die from them, but it happens when eating or breathing becomes too difficult, or the tumor taxes vital organs. In my link above, the first picture shows a girl with a 16 lb tumor on her face. I watched a documentary on it. Before her surgery, it had gotten so big that she was having real problems eating, and it was bleeding all the time. That’s when they finally started to work so hard to get her the surgery to have it removed.

Aster's avatar

@jca thanks. I would imagine that a tumor that covered a person’s heart and lungs would or could be as dangerous as a brain tumor although I realize this is very technical to even discuss on here by non-professionals.
. I saw the woman on tv whose entire trunk was covered with a 100+ pound tumor and she lived through it’s removal.

jca's avatar

@Aster: I think because the brain is encased in a tight place (skull), any little change in size can really affect it.

ibstubro's avatar

130# tumor that was attached to the patient and she waited that long to get it treated? Wow.

kritiper's avatar

It must have been a benign tumor and she must’ve been of monstrous proportions!

SecondHandStoke's avatar


“Second rate actor.”

Well said. GA.

2davidc8's avatar

Whether the tumor was benign or not, I figured it had to be somewhat external, because something the size of a person would have to impinge harmfully on other organs. But if was on the outside, what amazes me is how can anyone see it and now wonder if something was wrong? Yes, maybe she was too poor to have it treated (it took the surgeons 4 hours to remove), but perhaps it was also a case of the boiling frog effect?

2davidc8's avatar

Edit: not wonder

gasman's avatar

Ovarian cysts can slowly grow to be very large, and are mostly filled with fluid so not a huge metabolic load for their weight. From the Guinness book of world records:

Largest tumor ever operated An ovarian cyst estimated to weigh 328 lb. (148.7 kg) was drained during the week prior to surgical removal of the cyst shell, in Texas, USA, in 1905 by Dr. Arthur Spohn (USA). The patient recovered fully.

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