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Home News and Update Year 2011 5-kg Cancerous Tumour in the Face

5-kg Cancerous Tumour in the Face

Times of India
15 March 2011
Kolkata, India

Fiftyfour–year–old Bina Sarkar did not care much about a growth in the right nostril. Homoeopathy, she and her family felt, would be enough. That was till the small cyst started swelling and covered nearly half her face.

The homemaker from Sodepur had difficulty in breathing and could barely eat. Tests at a city hospital revealed that the 5kg growth was cancerous and could have been fatal.

Diagnosed as nasopharengeal carcinoma, such tumours rarely assume the size it has in Bina’s case. "It is not uncommon but we seldom come across a resultant tumour that weighs 5 kg. It could have been prevented had she received treatment earlier," said Ashish Mukhopadhyay, director of the Netaji Subhas Cancer Research Institute, where Bina is under treatment.

She will receive three cycles of chemotherapy. The first one, already administered, has reduced the growth by 500gm. By the end of the third session, the tumour is expected to weigh 300gm. It will then be removed by surgery.

Almost her entire oral cavity, right nostril and the right side of the face, including an eye, remains covered by the mass of flesh. She has been feeding through a tube for the past three weeks and unable to talk. Her left eyesight, too, was deteriorating. "The first chemotherapy session has partially restored her eyesight and she can also mumble a few words," said Soumen Sarkar, her younger son.

The patient’s family alleged that the ENT department of SSKM Hospital refused to do a biopsy when she was taken there in January.

"It might lead to bleeding and turn fatal, they said. But they kept us waiting for one month, passing on the papers from one department to another," said Soumen Sarkar.

The family members had lost hope till the doctors said it’s completely reversible. "A relapse can’t be ruled out in any form of cancer. But it is unlikely," said Mukhopadhyay.

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