Melon-sized tumor removed from New Jersey man’s neck


  • A man diagnosed with a soft tissue type of cancer called pleomorphic sarcoma had a giant tumor on his neck that kept on growing which would eventually threaten his breathing.
  • Doctors have initially turned down the 81-year-old patient’s request to have the tumor removed since the mass grew around a major blood vessel.
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, pleomorphic sarcoma develops in blood vessels, fat, muscle or nerve tissue and can spread to various locations in the body.

A tumor, the size of a cantaloupe, was removed by doctors from a man’s neck before it would suffocate him.

According to the Daily Mail, 81-year-old Milton Wingert was diagnosed in May with pleomorphic sarcoma. This is a type of soft tissue cancer that can occur in blood vessels, deep skin, fat, muscle or nerve tissue, says the Mayo Clinic. Typically, it often grows quickly and spread to other parts of the body.

When Wingert was initially diagnosed, the tumor on his neck was still the size of a large cherry tomato. But when the mass continued to swell over the next month, he decided to consult a doctor to have it removed.

The first surgeon Wingert visited said the surgery was too risky. He also received the same prognosis after seeking help from a second hospital the next month. Due to the tumor growing around the carotid artery, a major blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, neck and face, both surgeons were concerned that removing the mass might cut off the main blood vessel.

“I kept seeing different doctors and going to different hospitals, and it kept growing and getting bigger,” Wingert told the New York Post, adding that he was starting to wonder that time if he was ever getting an operation.

Still, the tumor grew, reaching the size of a small melon.

Finally this month, Wingert was referred to Dr. Nazir Kahn, a head and neck specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, who took the case and scheduled the surgery on November 5. Kahn told the New York Post that it was the largest tumor he had ever operated on. At the time, the cancerous mass measured 9 inches in diameter and weighed about 7 lbs. (about 3 kgs).

The procedure took 7 hours, which Kahn said was actually quicker than expected since they did not have to reconstruct parts of Wingert’s neck.

“I know he still has a road to go. But, you know, I’m happy for him, because I know that he was very scared before the surgery … and he did well,” Kahn told CNN.

Wingert also appears positive after the surgery. He happily told the New York Post— “I’m going to celebrate my 82nd birthday later this month. What a miracle!”

The Daily Mail says that Wingert is now recovering at home and will undergo future cancer treatments in the next months.


Source: Live Science

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