Woman survives largest brain tumour

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New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI) Walking around her home and doing daily household chores used to be an arduous task for 50-year-old Shugra Bibi.

Severe headaches coupled with vomiting and episodes of blurred vision had become a way of life for the Jammu-based housewife, who used to take her condition as just a ''small illness'' till her brain scan revealed that she probably had the largest ever intracranial tumour.

Shugra, mother of four teenaged children, about more than five months ago was diagnosed with a very large meningioma (tumour which can reach large size), which if not operated upon would have resulted in certain death in a few months.

''I couldn't do my daily work... Normal things like walking or trying to sit were almost impossible for me,'' Shugra told mediapersons But timely, surgery, at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here, and successful removal of the growth --16cm x 10cm x 8 cm-- saved Shugra, and today she is leading a healthy life with life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

The operation, by senior Neurosurgeon Rana Patir and his team, took over six hours to remove the tumour on September 7, 2007.

''The benign growth was extending onto both sides of the brain and infiltrating and totally obstructing the main brain drainage channel of blood from the brain,'' explained Dr Patir, adding that the surgery posed 5 per cent risk of death and 15 per cent danger of loosing control over limbs.

The position of the tumour was very precarious, he pointed out.

''The size, the location next to the part of the brain which involved with limb movement as well as the involvement of the main drainage channel of the brain posed a major technical challenge to the team,'' he added.

Dr Patir said the tumour was completely removed with its origin, which in technical terms is described as Grade 1 removal.

''The draining vein of the brain which was occluded by the growth was removed and the patient received Gamma radiation at the ends of the draining vein to be sure of complete sterilisation of the growth margins,'' he explained.

Flanked by her husband Ali Ahmed and doctors at the press conference, Shugra said she was leading a normal and healthy life.

''When I got to know about my condition, I was very scared.

My children are young and I wondered if I would survive...

But now I am all right,'' said a beaming Shugra, who would have to remain under medical surveillance to check the recurrence of the tumour.

''I am happy now that I am cured,'' she added UNI NR PY GC1759

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