Pune: Scientific Miracle Saves Woman From A Rare Cancer

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Pune, 26 Aprill 2021: Little did this 31-year-old pregnant woman know that an extremely rare form of tumour was growing inside her along with her baby. She was happy as she was expecting her first child.
Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, a surgical oncologist from Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “During the initial sonographies her gynecologist saw a mass in the abdominal cavity which was attached to the uterus which he thought to be a huge fibroid results showed that the mass was behind the uterus. As the pregnancy progressed the tumour mass also increased. The mass which was 8*10 cm during the first trimester more than doubled the size by the time she reached her third trimester. But, she underwent C-section and delivered a healthy baby. When I saw her for the first time, there was a big mass in her tummy. That’s when we knew that it was not a benign tumour and we went ahead with the biopsy of the mass, PET scan and realised it was a sarcoma.”
Sarcoma is cancer of connective tissue. It was thought to be a uterine sarcoma till they begun the surgery. Dr Deshmukh added, “We opened up the abdomen and saw that the tumour was completely separate from the uterus. The tumour was coming from the posterior part of the intestine called retroperitoneum and it was going into the last colon. This tumour was coming from the mesenteric of sigmoid colon. It was a Retroperitoneal mesenteric sarcoma which is very rare.”
The woman was diagnosed with Mesenteric Leiomyosarcoma, an uncommon, aggressive disease. There are only 25 similar cases reported across the world. Diagnosing such a condition especially during pregnancy adds more challenges as growth of foetus causes physiological changes in patient’s body.
It was occupying 80% of the woman’s tummy. What seemed like an impossible surgery was made possible by the doctors. The ureter tube was entrapped in the tumour and blood vessels were quite close but after five long hours, the tumour was out and the surgery was a success.
“It was a long and tedious surgery and we managed to save almost all organs. Then we tried to look for these kinds of cases in scientific literature and there were hardly any cases. So we decided to get this case published.” said Dr Deshmukh. The case was recently published in the Indian Journal Of Cancer.
After a successful recovery, unfortunately after one and a half years, the woman again showed signs and symptoms of cancer but this time she responded well to chemotherapy and is leading a completely normal life making us believe in power of hope and perseverance.
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