A Bangladeshi father dubbed "Tree Man" for massive bark-like warts on his hands and feet will finally have surgery to remove the growths that first began appearing 10 years ago, a hospital said Sunday.
Abul Bajandar, 25, from Khulna, has been suffering from a disease known as Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis - a rare and inherited skin disorder - for the past seven years, as reported by DailyMail.
He was undergoing preparations for the surgery to cut out the growths weighing at least five kilogrammes (11 pounds) that have smothered his hands and feet.
"Initially, I thought that they're harmless. But slowly I lost all my ability to work. There are now dozens of two to three inch roots in both my hands. And there are some small ones in my legs," said the 26-year-old Bajandar at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) who was forced to quit working as a bicycle puller.
The doctors of the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital have formed a medical board of experts and will now decide about the treatment required for Bajandar.
Tests are underway to ensure Bajandar's root-like warts can be removed surgically without damaging major nerves or causing any other health problems. The massive warts, which first started appearing when he was a teenager but began spreading rapidly four years ago
Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (also called Lewandowsky-Lutz dysplasia), colloquially known as tree man illness is an extremely rare autosomal recessive genetic hereditary skin disorder associated with a high risk of carcinoma of the skin. It is characterized by abnormal susceptibility to human papillomaviruses (HPVs) of the skin. The resulting uncontrolled HPV infections result in the growth of scaly macules and papules, particularly on the hands and feet.
"Popularly it is known as tree-man disease," said DMCH director Samanta Lal Sen. "As far as we know there are three such cases in the world including Abul Bajandar. It is the first time we have found such a rare case in Bangladesh," he said.
In order to inherit the disease two abnormal EV genes, one from each parent, must be present. No treatment has been found yet, though many treatments are suggested.
Some known cases of Epidermodysplasia verruciformis are, a Romanian man who was diagnosed with this same condition in 2007 and an Indonesian villager with massive warts all over his body underwent a string of operations in 2008 to remove them.
Bajandar's elder sister, Adhuri Bibi, said hundreds of people have visited their home in Khulna over the years to see the "Tree Man".
"Even here at the hospital, hundreds have already gathered," she said.
Bajandar, a father of one, said he tried cutting the warts when they first appeared, but it was extremely painful.
"After that I went to a village homeopath and herbal specialist. But those medicines only worsened my condition." He also consulted doctors in neighbouring India, but he and his family could not afford the cost of the operation there.
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