Docs save man after villagers mistake 19 kg tumour for demonic possession

Villagers thought it was caused by a ghost that had possessed Tirke's body and his family took him to witch doctors.

Kolkata: Several rare conditions that are possibly life threatening can attack anyone in any corner of the world, but the diagnosis is different due to the lack of awareness and superstitions that only make matters worse. Not long ago a child suffering from ichthyosis in India was branded an alien or reincarnation of a god, and children with rare skin conditions have also been subjected to stigma.

In the most recent such report from Kolkata in India, a man had to suffer agony for a year caused by a beach ball sized tumour in his abdomen, and lack of medical awareness in his village that delayed treatment. 49-year-old Shyamal Tirke vomited after every meal due to the tumour, but villagers said it was due to a ghost that had possessed him and his family took him to a witch doctor instead of seeking medical relief.

After the treatment by witch doctors failed, Tirke’s family stopped talking to him and locked him up to avoid embarrassment as Tirke endured excruciating pain. One year later neighbours advised medical help and finally x-ray revealed a huge malignant tumour inside his abdomen. The doctors operated for two and a half hours to remove the tumour and save Tirke’s life.

The condition Tirke had was Retroperitoneal Liposarcoma which is a rare cancer as tumours develop in fatty tissues near kidneys, pancreas and bladder. This was the first time the doctors remove such a big tumour.

Had it not been for the right advice, Tirke would’ve silently suffered the pain resulting from absence of awareness and prevalence of superstitions in rural India.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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