Vital Signs: A 20-Pound, Bony Tumor That Nearly Suffocated a Man From the Inside

The huge growth was filling part of Hector’s chest and crushing his left lung. If surgeons couldn’t remove it, and fast, he would not live for long.

By W. Roy Smythe|Tuesday, December 06, 2011
One of my junior surgical partners, Scott, called me from the clinic downstairs. “Hey, would you mind coming down?” he asked. “I haven’t seen anything like this before.” I had never heard Scott so anxious, and told him I would be right there.He met me at the exam room door, wide-eyed, holding the patient’s chart in one hand and nervously slapping it into his other palm. “This is wild,” he murmured. “A 40-year-old man with bony masses in several areas of his body—hips, face, everywhere. He has o...

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