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Woman Has 130-Pound Cancerous Tumor Removed

March 31, 1988

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ A woman who feared to seek medical help as a tumor swelled in her abdomen eventually doubled her weight before having the 130-pound malignant growth removed, her doctor said Wednesday.

Barbara Louise Jones, 55, is almost completely recovered from the December operation to remove the ovarian tumor, said Fort Worth surgeon Dr. J.E. Way.

″I went to the doctor Monday and my blood pressure is up a little, but other than that, I’m doing fine,″ said Miss Jones, who is 5-foot-1 .

In the three years preceeding her operation, Miss Jones said she at first thought she was gaining weight, then realized something was seriously wrong.

But Miss Jones said she delayed seeing a doctor because she feared she would suffer the same type of painful death as her mother, who died of ovarian cancer in 1973. Her maternal grandfather and an uncle also died of cancer.

She was forced to retire early from her job as a school district purchasing agent last March. By July, she was unable to drive a car or move about without tiring.

In November, she finally decided to seek medical attention and was referred to Way. Within two weeks, the tumor was removed.

Way said he had to cut a 4 1/2 -foot incision in Miss Jones’ abdomen to remove the malignant tumor. He said most ovarian tumors are detected when they are 1-1 1/2 inches.

″There’s nothing typical about this,″ Way said. ″You can find a lot of tumors that weigh 5 to 30 pounds, and those are humongous tumors.″

The 1988 Guinness Book of World Records lists a 1905 case of a 328-pound ovarian cyst as the largest tumor in history. Oddly enough, the woman in that case also was from Texas; the reference book says she recovered fully.

Way said the tumor was fixed to the walls of Miss Jones’ abdomen and stretched her skin almost paper-thin. He said what made the surgery difficult was keeping the taut skin from breaking and the tumor from rupturing.

If the surgery had not been done, Way said, more tumors could have developed, the tumor could have become so large it would have caused respiratory problems, it could have ruptured and spread cancer throughout her body, or it could have blocked her ability to digest food.

He said that all of the cancerous growth was removed and although Miss Jones must have regular checkups for a recurrence, she is now in good health.

Miss Jones said she would recommend that others who suspect they have cancer to see their physicians early.

″I realize now how dangerous it can be and could have been for me,″ she said.

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