How Big is the Biggest Tumor?

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  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2019
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According to Guinness World Records, the biggest tumor ever removed intact from the human body weighed in at 303 pounds (137.6 kg) and measured 3 feet (1 m) in diameter. The tumor, located on the right ovary, was removed in 1991 during an operation performed by Professor Katherine O’Hanlan at Stanford University Medical Center in California. The operation to remove the tumor from the abdomen of an unnamed 34-year-old woman took over six hours to complete. The pathology report concluded that the tumor was benign. The patient made a full recovery, and reportedly did not seek treatment sooner due to being bed-ridden and suffering from agoraphobia.

The operation to remove the world’s biggest tumor intact was recorded on film, and is available to watch on various video sharing websites across the web. The footage shows a medical team of 12 in the operating room prepping the patient for surgery using a red sterile solution called betadine. The doctor explains that the woman needs to be positioned laying on her side for the surgery, as laying on her back could mean being crushed by the massive weight of the tumor. Following the completion of the procedure, the tumor is wheeled out of the operation room on a stretcher, leaving the patient several hundred pounds freer.


A guest featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show was just shy of having the world’s biggest tumor. Lori Hoogewind’s 200-pound (90.8 kg) tumor, also attached to her abdomen, resulted from a the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis, and required a life-threatening 18-hour surgical procedure to remove.

In 2004, 47-year-old Romanian woman named Lucica Bunghez underwent surgery to remove another rival to the world’s biggest tumor, a 176-pound (80 kg) growth caused by neurofibroma. The tumor was wrapped around the patient’s body, which weighed down her tiny frame. The procedure took eight hours to remove Bunghez’s tumor, compared to the six-hour procedure of the world’s biggest tumor removed intact.

Other cases of tumors and other cystic growths have captured the media’s attention due to the severe disfigurement caused to the patient, even if the growth doesn’t classify as the world’s biggest tumor. For example, in 2004 doctors removed a 16-pound (7.3 kg) facial tumor from a 14-year-old Haitian girl named Marlie Casseus, whose facial features had already become severely distorted and was nearly blinded by the tumor. Casseus was born with a case of polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, which caused her bone structure to congeal.


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Post 3

I wonder how many of those tumors could have been taken care of with earlier treatment. I mean, I understand the one lady had a phobia, but still, I think I'd be more scared of what would happen if I didn't get the tumor treatment!

Post 2

Just imagine if that had been a tumor in the brain, or even worse, a tumor in the thyroid -- you'd have a giant lump hanging off your neck like a goiter.

Post 1

I saw a picture of that thing -- dis-gust-ing!

I have to say, I was surprised though that the largest tumor was an ovarian tumor, rather than a GIST tumor -- I always thought that when it came to tumors, GIST tumors took the prize for size.

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