Unusual Tumor Caused Girl, 4, to Start Menstruating at 14 Months

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A once-suffering little girl is learning to enjoy life now that a bizarre tumor that caused her to begin menstruating at the age of 14 months has been removed, The New York Times reported.

Grace Webster suffered until the age of 3 with a hypothalamic hamartoma or H.H., a benign tumor on the hypothalamus that affects just a few thousand people in the world.

Although the tumor is not malignant, it causes a host of problems including early puberty, symptoms of autism and social maladjustment, and gelastic seizures, also called laughing seizures because of the crooked smile that often accompanies them, according to the report.

When Grace was 14 months, her parents, Erica and Perry Webster, were told she had the reproductive system of a 12-year-old.

The tumor was removed last year at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, The New York Times reports.

Dr. Isabelle M. Germano, professor of neurosurgery, neurology, oncological sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, told FOXNews.com she recently saw a patient for a similar condition.

"Mt. Sinai has been doing the surgery for several decades," said Germano, who is also the director of stereotactic and tumor program at Mt. Sinai.

Germano said surgery is risky and can bring with it a host of problems.

"It's very similar to the risks associated with any neurosurgery," she said. "It could cause an additional neuro-deficit, injury, bleeding, infection."

A year after having the operation at Barrow, Grace still suffers from a form of diabetes and low thyroid function, but her health is improving.

She also must get injections every 28 days until she is 11 to hold off the early puberty she once experienced, according to the report.

Click here for more on this study from The New York Times.