Doctors removed a 51-pound cancerous tumor from a female patient after she waited more than a month to become eligible for health insurance.
Speaking of the patients state at the time of the surgery Dr. David Dupree noted:
“She was a skinny lady with a huge belly. I mean it looked like she was literally pregnant with triplets.”
The female, a 65-year-old woman in New Jersey was “all belly” according to her surgeon.
When you consider that Evelyn Dupree only weighed 120-pound before the tumor presented itself the 51-pound tumor was a lot of extra weight and very noticeable.
Dupree says she went in for medical help on June 4, days after she turned 65 and qualified for Medicare. By the time of her emergency surgery she weighed more than 170 pounds and the tumor was crushing her inferior vena cava, one of the main veins responsible for returning blood to the heart.
The surgery couldn’t have come any sooner, originally scheduled for a Monday removal doctors realized the tumor was life threatening on Sunday night and they moved to remove it.
Although the immediate threat to her life has passed, she must still see an oncologist about treatment for her cancer, which may not have been completely eradicated by the surgery, and may require chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Dupree said he would advise uninsured patients to see a doctor immediately if they knew they were unwell no matter how near their 65th birthday might be. He said the hospital would have operated on Evelyn regardless of her insurance status, but added he did not know whether doing so would have cost her more money.