Feb 15, 2021
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Size matters? Surgeons removed a tennis-ball-sized tumor

13-year-old Lilies from Kurgan, a rare disease was diagnosed – myoepithelial carcinoma (malignant central tumor of the right lung, similar to tumors of the salivary glands). In the world, it is described in only 12 adults and 3 children. In the girl, a tennis-ball-sized tumor penetrated the entire lung, grew into the mediastinum, and pushed the esophagus and left pulmonary artery back.

From colds to cancer

The disease developed rapidly, but an accurate diagnosis was not immediately possible. In August, the girl was treated for a cold, then she was diagnosed with pneumonia, then – tuberculosis, and only a computed tomography scan showed the source of the problem – a tumor of the right lung.

In the fall, Lilia was admitted to the pediatric oncology department of the N.N. Petrova.

The girl received four courses of chemotherapy in the hope that the tumor will decrease in size. However, the tumor turned out to be aggressive and insensitive to chemotherapy. In January 2021, Lilia was scheduled for a unique operation for the pediatric practice. Usually in such cases, an aggressive surgical technique is used – circular resection (removal of tissue around the entire circumference of the trachea and bronchi). This causes tension in the trachea, which is fraught with softening of the still unformed cartilage tissue. Using this technique would cause the trachea to narrow and make it difficult for the girl to breathe. Subsequently, she needed another intervention – tracheal stenosis.

Cut and save

Oncologists managed to use a sparing technology – wedge-shaped resection of the tracheal bifurcation (removal of the membranous part of the trachea in the place where it branches into two bronchi). This helped to avoid complications in the postoperative period. The surgeon was also able to preserve the superior vena cava by performing plastic surgery. Unfortunately, the right lung had to be removed completely. It was literally eaten by the neoplasm.

The operation, which lasted more than six hours, was carried out Head of the Surgical Thoracic Department of the N.N. N.N. Petrova, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Medicine Evgeny Levchenko

Memory toy

Lilya is now recovering from surgery. The girl is engaged in needlework – she knits toys and gives them to other small patients of the children’s department of the N.N. N.N. Petrova. The treatment continues – pediatric oncologists are choosing modern targeted therapy for the girl that can defeat the tumor. Lilia is already making plans for the future. She dreams of returning home and learning how to design soft toys to give them to her friends, and then, when she grows up, become a fashion designer.

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