An agricultural labourer from Tamil Nadu's Ooty, Vasantha stomach was growing rapidly in size. At first, she thought it was regular weight gain associated with age, but when the pain and discomfort got unbearable, she decided to visit a local hospital. It was there she found out about the massive cancerous tumour in her abdomen, possibly world's largest. Doctors refused surgery, saying her chances of survival were slim.
Seeing Vasantha's crying husband in a bus, a co-passenger referred them to a Coimbatore hospital. The chief surgeon of the hospital, Dr Senthil Kumar, investigated the patient and formed a team of doctors to remove the tumour, which he said, turned out to be the heaviest ovarian cancer tumour removed so far in the world.
"When the patient came to us, she weighed 75 kg and the tumour we removed weighed 33.5 kg. The patient is now doing well and weighs around 42 kg," Dr Kumar told news agency ANI.
He said that so far, the record for the removal of largest tumour (20 kg) in India was held by AIIMS Delhi and a hospital in Pondicherry. "While heavier ovarian tumours have been removed before, they were benign or non-cancerous in nature. With this surgery, we have created the record of removing world's heaviest ovarian cancer tumour in the world weighing 33.5 kg," he said.
The record has been approved by the Indian book of records and the Asian book of records, the doctor said, adding that they have applied for World Book of Records and the Guinness book of world records.
Talking about the difficulties they faced, Dr Kumar said, "The main difficulties we faced was in giving her anesthesia and ensuring that there was minimum blood loss during the surgery. A highly competent team and the most sophisticated machines and instruments were used to ensure this."
"Since it was an early stage of cancer, it has not spread in the body through nodes, Vasantha can survive like a normal person," he added.