A giant 55 kg bone tumor was removed from a 26-year-old cancer patient's thigh by doctors at a hospital in Delhi. The tumor weighed close to 1.5 times his body weight. Doctors had to amputate his right leg and a portion of the pelvic bone.
The patient, Gurmeet, quit studies when his thigh showed signs of inflammation in 2008. Gurmeet weighs only 37 kg after surgery and will have to undergo chemotherapy and radiation.
"I have not been able to move for the last three to four years. My leg kept swelling; it did not fit into any clothes properly. I could barely sit let alone stand, I could only rest on my back on the bed and could not even roll over and change sides," said Gurmeet.
Doctors said the malignant tumor is a sarcoma of the bone. This is one of the most common types of bone cancer in children. The rate of the tumors growth varies in patients.
"My right leg is gone, and I do not know how if cancer has spread, but the weight of my dragging leg is gone. I am able to stand on a walker, hopefully, I will be able to walk with a prosthetic," he said.
"The tumor was extremely big and lodged in his pelvic bone and thigh. When we weighed it after the surgery, we found it surpassed his body weight by 1.5 times. To remove it completely we had to amputate his right lower limb and part of his pelvic bone which the tumor had spread to," said Dr. Duratosh Pandey, a senior consultant in surgical oncology at the Max Super Specialty hospital.
"We cannot be sure about how fast or complete his recovery will be. If the cancer is localized to this part of his body and does not relapse, with chemotherapy, there is a 40-50 percent cure rate when it comes to sarcomas," said Dr. Pandey.
"A part of his pelvic bone has been removed so a prosthetic fitting is going to be very difficult. Since he has not used his left leg also for so long, he will need physiotherapy and counseling to be motivated. But he is a young man and very cooperative so we hope he will be mobile soon," Dr. Pandey added.
Gurmeet said, "Doctors in Jalandhar first thought I had a fracture or some sort of injury which led to the growth. Around three years ago, a biopsy confirmed cancer. I was put on chemotherapy and radiotherapy but the size of the tumor did not go down."