What was just a consultation for a pain in his right big toe ended up being the diagnosis of a terminal tumor for a retiree from the United States.
According to the New York Post, Richard Bernstein, 42, had had the pain for five years and thought it was a fracture, but was diagnosed with a large tumor in the kidney and a tumor thrombus, a tumor that extends to a blood vessel.
After two years of visits to podiatrists and physical therapists, who never found any bone problems, he turned to a sports medicine specialist, who suspected spinal stenosis, which can put pressure on nerves in the spine.
However, the symptoms began to increase. The pain rose to her ankle, and in March of this year, her leg started to swell. It was only then that a doctor ordered an abdominal exam, which revealed the tumor.
The exam, referred to a urologist, also identified a thrombus (blood clot) that grew through the renal vein and filled the vena cava, which drains blood to the heart, and had 99% of the coronary arteries blocked, in addition to the liver almost going into bankruptcy.
Doctors operate on Bernstein. Procedure took about 12 hours. — Photo: Northwell Health
“He (the doctor) told me I had four days to live,” Bernstein told the New York Post.
According to the director of urology at Phelps Hospital in New York state, Michael Grosso, the blockage of veins due to the tumor and the thrombus was what explained the retiree’s foot pain, since the symptoms of liver cancer usually appear at an advanced stage of the tumor.
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The patient then underwent a urgent surgery to remove the tumor.
“He was totally on a tightrope, he had two life-threatening situations in a very short period of time happening at the same time,” Grosso told the New York Post.
After 12 hours of a complex and married surgery between doctors of different specialties, the tumor and thrombus were removed and a heart bypass was performed.
With the tumor removed, doctors have ruled out, for now, the need for chemotherapy in Bernstein, who is already walking alone and is recovering from surgery.
“My advice is that no one gives up seeking the diagnosis if something bothers you”, he declared. “Trust your instinct.”