A 36-year-old California man, who went to the doctor for persistent back pain, got the shock of his life when an X-ray revealed a soccer ball-sized tumor that had been growing in his back for nearly a decade, CBS 13 reported.
“You think you got a serious muscle pull or something, [but] the doctor has that serious doctor face you see on TV,” Josh Abken told the Sacramento TV station. “They didn’t really know what was growing inside of me.”
The tumor was so big, it began to grown “tentacles” – putting pressure on his heart, shoving his lungs out of position and pushing his stomach downward.
Costanzo Di Perna, a thoracic surgeon, who operated on Abken, said the surgery to remove the tumor was quite extensive.
“Trying to take out this large, calcified tumor, hard like a rock, created a difficult surgical experience,” Di Perna said.
The surgery was a success, but Abken will still continue to undergo highly sensitive PET scans to detect any signs of actively growing cancer cells in the body.