She looked like a nine-month-old pregnant woman due to ovarian tumours weighing 16kg, which baffled doctors at Manipal Hospitals. Twenty-six-year-old Shaila (name changed) from Bengaluru, who’s working in the US, thought the tumours were cancerous and flew down to the city in March for treatment. Surgeons removed the two large tumours (one weighing 14kg and the other 2kg), which had been growing since 2015 but turned out to be benign (non-cancerous growths) and hadn’t spread. Despite noticing a slight distention in her abdomen, Shaila ignored it as belly fat and began to work out.
“I didn’t have any symptoms. I had a good appetite with no weight loss, no pain and no changes in health parameters. In 2015, I noticed my tummy was bloating and thought exercise would help. But over the past six months (since October 2018), it started growing rapidly and my energy levels declined. I immediately consulted doctors in the US,” she told . With her oddly swollen belly, Shaila was not able to socialize. She was greeted with additional concern on her flight to Bengaluru as her as co-passengers presumed she was pregnant. The change in appearance caused her stress and psychological trauma. After undergoing the surgery, Shaila is back to normalcy and has been advised regular checks-ups for the next five years. If she wants to have kids in future, she has a high chance of normal delivery.
According to Dr Gayathri Karthik, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Manipal Hospitals who operated on Shaila, lack of symptoms is the major drawback of ovarian tumours. “They carry a high risk of malignancy. No biopsy can be done without removing the tumours. The patient was a science student and understood the complications. She was relieved after results showed the tumours were benign,” said Dr Gayathri. “Regular health checkups are the key to early detection of such tumours. Their cause is unknown,” said Dr Gayathri.