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The tumour which appeared as a small lump grew into a giant mass weighing one kilogram in less than two months  

Sharjah: An Ethiopian tourist, who flew to Sharjah to treat a rapidly growing tumour in her breast, has finally heaved a sigh of relief after doctors here in a private hospital operated out the mass without affecting the shape of her body.

The 46-year-old Ethiopian patient, Seblework Alemayehu Zeleke, was diagnosed with a rare and rapidly growing phyllodes tumour in her right breast. Phyllodes tumour occur very rarely in breast and accounts for less than one percent of the breast tumours in the world. They tend to grow into giant masses fairly quickly often stretching the skin and affecting the overall appearance of the individual.

Seblework, a homemaker from Ethiopia, discovered a small lump in her right breast about two months ago. “I felt the lump while bathing. It was painless, so I neglected it for a few days. But suddenly, it started growing. I could sense the growth of the lump by touching it. The unusual growth panicked me. I consulted a doctor in my home country, who advised me to perform a scan. The result revealed a growing tumour in my right breast,” she said.

According to the doctor, surgery was the only option. “The doctor told me that the mass has to be excised. It was a depressing news. It affected me and the morale of my family. The thought of surgery disturbed me to the core. We discussed it among our family members. One of my cousins living in Sharjah told me about a surgeon who performed a similar surgery for her recently. We decided to reach out to Dr. Dilber Pareed, a general and laparoscopic surgeon at Aster Hospital, Sharjah, through our cousin,” added Seblework.

The family had a first round of discussion with the doctor online. “Dr Dilber was very reassuring. He explained about the procedure in detail and the safety of it. Convinced at his briefing, we decided to travel to Sharjah to consult him,” said Seblework adding that she travelled to Sharjah in the second week of December.

Once she reached Sharjah, Seblework consulted Dr Dilber at Aster Hospital, Sharjah. “By the time she reached here, the lump had grown into a huge mass. We performed relevant investigations, including a breast ultrasound to determine the present size and the areas affected. The scan report revealed that the lump had grown into a size of a football,” said Dr Dilber.

The doctor also explained that it wasn’t a normal tumour but a phyllodes tumour. “This type of tumour is rarely seen in the breast. They rapidly grow into a huge mass and affect the overall appearance of the individual that can sometimes be very depressing. In this case, it had grown into the size of a football in less than two months. Early wide excision of the mass is the remedy,” he added.

Generally, patients affected by breast tumours lose their shape post the procedure. They further need to undergo a breast reconstruction surgery to reinstate the shape.

“Seblework was really worried about this. We assured her about the result. The surgery went well. It took about an hour to complete the procedure,” said Dr Dilber adding that phyllodes tumours are malignant in 25 percent cases. In Seblework’s case, the report has come negative for malignancy.

A happy and relieved Seblework was discharged on the third day post the surgery. “I am so relieved now. I thank the Almighty for being kind to us and guiding us throughout this difficult phase. Dr. Dilber took care of me like a sister. I am recovering well now. The wounds are healing, and I am looking forward to flying back to my family in Ethiopia soon,” said Seblework.