Transgender man diagnosed with tumor which grew to a FOOT wide
Transgender man, 24, who thought his bloated stomach was lockdown weight gain has ovarian tumor removed after it grew to more than a FOOT wide and made him look pregnant
- WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
- Ezra Varley, 24, Vancouver, Canada, noticed he was gaining weight in lockdown
- Months later began noticing sharp abdominal pains and tummy was ‘rock hard’
- An ultrasound revealed a mass so large medics ‘couldn’t see any of his organs’
- Ezra wasn’t deemed a priority for surgery because tumor was non-cancerous
A transgender man who thought his bloated stomach was due to lockdown weight gain was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor which grew over a foot wide.
Ezra Varley, 24, from Vancouver, Canada, noticed he was piling on the pounds in April 2020 and thought it was down to his bad eating habits, before having sharp abdominal pains and noticing his tummy felt ‘rock hard’.
An ultrasound revealed a mass so large medics ‘couldn’t see any of his organs’ and further tests showed he had a 33cm tumor reaching from his right ovary to his lungs.
The mass grew so much that Ezra looked pregnant, however with the hospital overrun with Covid patients, he wasn’t deemed a priority for surgery because his tumor was non-cancerous
Ezra Varley, 24, from Vancouver, Canada, thought his bloated stomach was due to lockdown weight gain before being diagnosed with an ovarian tumor which grew over a foot wide
Ezra eventually underwent surgery to remove the tumor, which he took eight weeks to recover from. He is pictured recovering in hospital after his surgery
‘It was a really worrying time for me, and it was clear from the doctors that my surgery wasn’t a priority,’ said Ezra.
‘I got diagnosed with the tumor at the height of the pandemic and I was conflicted because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time.
‘People were dying from Covid, so the hospital wasn’t really where I wanted to be at that time anyway so I just accepted that I may have to wait a while for the operation.
‘In that time the tumor just continued to grow, and by September it looked like I was pregnant!’
An ultrasound revealed a mass so large medics ‘couldn’t see any of his organs’ and further tests showed he had a 33cm tumor reaching from his right ovary to his lungs
However with the hospital overrun with Covid patients, Ezra wasn’t deemed a priority for surgery because his tumor was non-cancerous and the mass grew so much Ezra looked ‘pregnant’. He is pictured L-R before his surgery
The mass (pictured) was even larger than doctor’s had initially suspected. The tumor had been causing constant shooting pains throughout his body which he compared to like ‘having a knife in the liver’
‘Feeling all my organs move back into place inside of me after they’d been crushed for so long was really weird’, said Ezra, pictured recovering after surgery
Ezra’s life started to become increasingly difficult when the size of the tumor prevented him from doing basic things.
He lost his job as a barista and was forced to apply for support benefits from the government.
With his condition worsening by the day, the tumor eventually got so big that the pressure on his spine caused a disk to slip leaving him with immense back pain.
Ezra compared the constant shooting pains throughout his body as like ‘having a knife in the liver’.
Growths that can be cancerous or benign: What is an ovarian tumor?
Ovarian tumours are abnormal growths that start in the ovary and may be cancerous or benign.
When cancerous, nine out of ten arise from the cell that line the ovaries and fallopian tubes – known as epithelial ovarian cancer.
High-grade serous ovarian cancer makes up six out of every ten epithelial cases. Most actually in the fallopian tubes.
These growths tend to be treated via chemo and radiotherapy.
Low-grade serous cancers account for just one in ten epithelial cases. These are slow growing and tend to be in younger women.
Surgery is the most effective treatment for low-grade serous epithelial cancers.
Mucinous tumours make up a small percentage of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Other types of ovarian tumours include:
Endometrioid: May be associated with endometriosis. A third of sufferers also have womb cancer or precancerous thickening of the uterus’ lining
Clear cell: Make up four per cent of ovarian tumours
Undifferentiated: Made up of cells that are very undeveloped, which makes it difficult to tell where they came from
Brenner: Account for 1-to-2 per cent of ovarian tumours. Are usually in women over 40 and are benign – less than five per cent are cancerous
Borderline: Also known as ‘tumours of low malignant potential’ – are very slow growing and unlikely to spread
Carcinosarcoma: Contain tissue that looks like both an epithelial and connective tissue cancer (sarcoma)
Source: Target Ovarian Cancer
He eventually underwent surgery to remove the tumor in January 2021, which he took eight weeks to recover from. The mass was even larger than doctor’s had initially suspected.
‘After the surgery it felt as if I’d never had a normal body before,’ he said.
‘I’d forgotten what it was like not to be constantly in pain and I was completely overjoyed – I’d suddenly got my life back.
‘Feeling all my organs move back into place inside of me after they’d been crushed for so long was really weird.
‘But once that settled down I was finally able to start living again.
‘I want other transgender people to learn from what I went through, by paying attention to their bodies and not being afraid to get the help they need.’
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