I thought I was bloated – but actually a massive 11cm-cyst with HAIR that was silently growing inside me since birth made me look 20-weeks pregnant (and doctors told me the horrifying growth had spawned another 100 TUMOURS)
- Victoria Grande, of North Carolina, had an 11cm cancerous cyst growing in her
- The cyst had been growing for 28 years but ‘so slowly it was hard to detect’
- After removing the cyst, doctors found 100 tumours inside of Miss Grande
For years, Victoria Grande just assumed she was permanently bloated.
So, imagine her shock when she was told a tumour covered in hair was actually to blame for her looking ’20 weeks pregnant’.
The 11cm-mass had been silently growing inside her since she was a baby, doctors claimed.
But Miss Grande’s nightmare didn’t end when surgeons removed the growth, which turned out to be cancerous and also contain skin.
Doctors allegedly discovered another 100 tumours had spawned inside the 29-year-old, from Charlotte in North Carolina.
Victoria Grande, 29, who was so bloated she looked 20 weeks pregnant, discovered she actually had an 11cm cyst which grew hair and skin
The cyst had been growing for 28 years and she was told it was a cystic teratoma – a type of germ-cell tumour
Miss Grande, from Charlotte, North Carolina, underwent the operation a week later and tests on the cyst revealed it was cancerous
Miss Grande claims she was diagnosed with ‘growing teratoma syndrome’, a poorly-understood phenomenon occurring in patients with tumours of the same name.
Such tumours — usually spotted in the ovaries or testicles — can also contain teeth, muscle and bone.
Some patients can develop the even rarer GTS. This complication, doctors state in medical journals, occurs either during or after chemotherapy.
Experts say chemotherapy cures the malignant cells but that they can remain there and grow into benign tumours.
But Miss Grande had only undergone surgery to remove the original growth.
READ MORE: Woman, 32, who thought her bloated stomach was caused by stress eating during lockdown discovers it was a cancerous cyst the size of a FOOTBALL
The bartender said: ‘They told me it was likely wrapping around my ovary and cutting off my blood supply.
‘They said it would keep growing unless I had surgery to get it out.’
Describing the teratoma’s effects on her appearance, she added: ‘It was like I was 20 weeks pregnant inside my body.’
Her tumour was spotted in April 2022, following a trip to the emergency department because of crippling abdominal aches that left her ‘bent over in pain’.
Before her diagnosis, Miss Grande had endured on-off stomach pains for a decade — but they were usually dismissed as constipation.
She said of her tumour: ‘They told me it had hair and skin. It was crazy to me. It had been growing for 28 years but so slowly it was hard to detect.’
Doctors classified it as a cystic teratoma — just one type of germ-cell tumour.
They are so rare there are no reliable figures.
Experts say the cause of teratomas is not completely understood but have suggested they come from germ cells turning into different cells.
Miss Grande underwent surgery a week after her diagnosis and follow-up tests revealed it was cancerous.
She claimed surgeons then took another look at her and found the tumours, before diagnosing her with GTS.
A 10-hour operation saw some of the tumours removed, as well as pieces of her lung, right fallopian tube, her right ovary, gallbladder and appendix – which all showed signs of cancer
In June, Miss Grande had a gruelling 10-hour surgery to remove the tumours and had 42 stiches put in
Miss Grande got her results saying the cyst was cancerous on her health app and said she turned to her fiancé, Austin Cureton (pictured), 32, and said: ‘I think I have cancer’
Bartender Miss Grande said: ‘My stomach had got so huge I looked pregnant. ‘After my CT they told me it was an 11cm cyst. They told me it had hair and skin. It was crazy to me’
This month, Miss Grande coloured her shaved hair pink and decorated it with blonde hearts and a cancer ribbon at the back of her head
Miss Grande then started six rounds of chemotherapy in July, which she completed in October.
She has now been told there is no evidence of the disease.
Ovarian germ cell tumours can spread around the body, just like other cancers.
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