Francine Clement, a 42-year-old mother of four who lives in Guam, on Thursday held a news conference with Kaohsiung-based Yuan General Hospital hyperthermia therapy center director Hung Kuo-chen (洪國禎) to thank him for removing an 18kg tumor from her abdominal cavity.
Clement said that when she arrived in Taiwan earlier this month, she only had months to live, but now she would have a chance to spend more time with her three daughters and son.
“Now I have more time to read stories to my children and play soccer with them,” Clement said.
Photo: Fang Chih-hsien, Taipei Times
Diagnosed with urachal carcinoma three years ago, Clement underwent surgery that removed her urachus and part of her bladder, but not before carcinogenic cells had already spread to her ovulary, Hung said.
From there, it spread cancer to her lungs, liver, abdominal cavity and a section of her spine, Hung added.
Clement spent time at a California hospital, where she underwent chemotherapy and immunotherapy, before she contacted Yuan General Hospital, he said.
The tumor, which was 10cm a year ago, quickly ballooned to 40cm and weighed about 18kg, he said, adding that doctors in Guam were hesitant to operate on the tumor as it was right next to a major artery.
During six hours of surgery, the tumor was removed and the abdominal cavity treated with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy to destroy the remaining cancer cells, Hung said.
However, according to the latest research, the surgery would only raise Clement’s survival rate in the next decade to 50 percent, Hung said, adding that she would still need to undergo chemotherapy when she returns to Guam.
The hospital prepared a small cake and some flowers for an early celebration of Clement’s 16th wedding anniversary on Friday next week.
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