When Hector Hernandez saw that his weight was creeping up and his stomach was getting bigger, he at first put it down to a slowing metabolism as he got older. But the “beer belly” his friends teased him about was hard to the touch and didn’t seem to respond to exercise. When Hector realized his arms were getting thinner, he finally went to see a doctor and was diagnosed with retroperitoneal liposarcoma, a cancer of the fat cells growing at the back of his abdomen.
Keck Medicine surgeon Dr. William W. Tseng, an internationally recognized sarcoma expert, is accustomed to removing tumors as big as 20 or even 30 pounds. But Hector’s was the largest Tseng has yet encountered: a 77-pound tumor that required a complex 6-hour operation.
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