A woman gained weight over 15 years. She had a 140-pound tumor on her ovary, heavier than 6 watermelons.
- A woman who gained weight over at least 15 years had a 140-pound tumor on her ovary.
- Surgeons said they removed the tumor and the woman returned to her daily activities.
A woman who gained weight over at least 15 years had 140-pound tumor on her ovary, according to a report.
The unnamed woman, 71, went to hospital after she experienced left leg pain, worsening breathlessness, and a skin infection, a group of medical students and plastic surgeons based in the US wrote in a case report published in the Cureus Journal of Medical Science on February 27.
When doctors examined her, they found that the woman was "morbidly obese," according to her body mass index (BMI), had an abnormally swollen abdomen with signs of a possible skin infection, and her legs were swollen, the case report authors said.
Scans showed that the woman had a blood clot in the veins of her left leg and behind her knee, which probably caused the leg pain, as well as a mass in her pelvis that was so large she couldn't lie on her back.
The woman had a rare type of ovarian cancer
Investigations revealed that the mass was a rare subtype of ovarian cancer characterized by fluid-filled cancer cells that are coated in mucus, called a mucinous adenocarcinoma. Blood clots are more likely to occur in people with certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, and obesity can increase the risk of clots too.
According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, fewer than 200,000 people in the US have ovarian cancer. The American Cancer Society states that 6% of ovarian cancers are mucinous carcinoma.
The authors said that they wrote the report to raise awareness of the "spectrum" of ovarian cancers so people can get diagnosed and treated earlier. Clinicians publish case reports in medical journals about unusual or rare things that happen to patients to inform their peers without needing to do comprehensive research, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
A 2020 review of ovarian mucinous adenocarcinoma found it is most commonly diagnosed in women younger than 40 who don't have the typical ovarian cancer risk factors, like periods from an early age, and certain genes.
The review authors state that if the cancer is picked up early, there's an "excellent" chance of recovery, but advanced disease has a "poor outcome." The treatment a patient is given, which includes surgery and chemotherapy, depends on whether it's detected in other body parts, such as the gut or pancreas.
The mass was bigger and heavier than six watermelons
In the woman's case, the cancer hadn't spread around her body.
Surgeons removed the mass, which was 24 inches long and weighed 140 pounds — bigger and heavier than six large watermelons.
After the operation, the woman wore a binder around her abdomen and wasn't allowed to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for eight weeks, according to the report.
Twenty weeks later, doctors discharged her to a specialist facility for further rehabilitation, and she was able to return to her normal life.
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