An elderly woman said she feels alive again after doctors in Abu Dhabi removed a tumour weighing more than three kilograms from her left breast.
The Yemeni mother, who lives in the UAE capital, was in unbearable pain, caused by an enormous growth she likened to a newborn baby being "constantly attached to you".
The patient, who asked to remain anonymous, had initially had the tumour removed in 2018 but it returned and grew to its large state four months later.
But she put off getting help for the reappearance of the lump while she was in the process of renewing her health insurance cover.
It was finally removed in January at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City in partnership with Mayo Clinic.
Her case prompted medics to issue a renewed plea to the public to go for a check-up immediately.
“We have seen large tumours before but rarely this large for such a rare type of breast tumour,” said her treating physician, consultant breast surgeon at SSMC, Dr Nahed Balalaa.
“What she had is called a phyllodes tumour, which is fast growing, very rare and often stretches the skin.
"In her case it was a borderline tumour, which wasn’t benign or malignant but had to be removed immediately and completely.
“It recurs so fast and aggressively. Our first question to the patient was, why did you wait so long? This is why awareness is very important. If you feel any lump then seek medical advice immediately.”
The patient told of her relief at finally undergoing surgery to have the tumour removed.
“I was in the middle of renewing my insurance and was just very tired and in so much pain,” she said.
“The pain because of the lump was unbearable. I can’t tell you how I feel now. It is like a difference of day and night.
"I was suffering and in constant pain. It was like having a newborn baby constantly attached to you. My back was always hunched forward and I couldn’t sleep, eat or move.”
In the last few months before the operation, she was confined to her house in Abu Dhabi.
“There was nothing I could do to cover it any more. Now I feel relieved. There is no more pain and I can move and breathe easily. I feel alive for the first time in a long time.”