Fitness

Girl, 12, has a football-sized tumour covering her neck that has been growing for almost a decade

Surbhi Ben, 12, has a football-sized tumour covering her neck that has been growing for almost a decade that is yet to be treated
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Girl, 12, has a football-sized tumour covering her neck that has been growing for almost a decade

  • Surbhi Ben, from India, has baffled medics who have struggled to treat her
  • Her parents first noticed small lumps when she was three years old
  • Local doctors aren’t much help, but a specialist is too costly, her father said

A girl has a football-sized tumour covering her neck that has been growing for almost a decade.  

Surbhi Ben, who lives in the Gujrat state of India, is believed to suffer with a rare disease, although it has not discovered what.

The tumour began to grow when she was a toddler, and her family became more concerned as it spread over the years.

They are desperate to find a treatment that works for Surbhi, who they describe as optimistic and vibrant.

But with financial troubles and lack of knowledge, it’s proving difficult, and Surbhi’s future remains unclear.

Surbhi Ben, 12, has a football-sized tumour covering her neck that has been growing for almost a decade that is yet to be treated 

Surbhi's family (pictured) became more concerned as small lumps spread over the years

Surbhi’s family (pictured) became more concerned as small lumps spread over the years

The family, from the Gujarat state of India, are desperate to find a treatment that works for Surbhi, who they describe as optimistic and vibrant. Pictured with her younger sister, Mansi, 9

The family, from the Gujarat state of India, are desperate to find a treatment that works for Surbhi, who they describe as optimistic and vibrant. Pictured with her younger sister, Mansi, 9

Surbhi is believed to suffer with a rare disease, although it has not discovered what

Surbhi is believed to suffer with a rare disease, although it has not discovered what

According to Surbhi’s father, Parshuram Bhai Variya, the tumour, which is said to be attached to internal organs, first showed signs at the age of three.

It actually started on the face as small lumps, which spread down to her neck where they grew out of control.

Mr Ben took his daughter to visit local doctors in their town, but said they are baffled and unable to offer much hope.

She was given medication, but nothing worked and the family became more concerned, according to local reports.

They wish to visit a specialist to get a proper diagnosis, as they are still in the dark about what caused the mass.

But with financial constraints, nothing is set to change any time soon.

Although Surbhi remains optimistic, the family worries that if she won’t get the tumour corrected soon, her future will be affected. 

It is not clear to what extent it already impacts her daily life, or whether there are other symptoms of her suspected disease.  

Surbhi is cared for her by her large family, and she has many friends – none of whom have ever made fun of her condition.

The tumour first showed signs when Surbhi was aged three, according to Surbhi's father, Parshuram Bhai Variya. Pictured with Mansi and her younger brother, whose not been named

The tumour first showed signs when Surbhi was aged three, according to Surbhi’s father, Parshuram Bhai Variya. Pictured with Mansi and her younger brother, whose not been named

Surbhi is cared for her by her large family, one of whom she is pictured eating with

Surbhi is cared for her by her large family, one of whom she is pictured eating with

Surbhi, pictured riding a bike in her town, has many friends - none of whom have ever made fun of her condition. She is said to be optimistic about her future

Surbhi, pictured riding a bike in her town, has many friends – none of whom have ever made fun of her condition. She is said to be optimistic about her future

Financial trouble has restricted the family (pictured) from seeking specialist help

Financial trouble has restricted the family (pictured) from seeking specialist help

It is not clear what Surbhi’s condition is, but some children develop a lymphatic malformation, also known as cystic hygroma, on the head or neck.

It is a collection fluid-filled sacs, known as cysts, that result from a malformation in the lymphatic system – a network of vessels within the body which form part of the immune system.

It is usually present at birth or in infancy, affecting up to one per cent of newborns in the UK. Their US prevalence is unknown.

WHAT IS A LYMPHATIC MALFORMATION? 

Lymphatic malformations, sometimes referred to as cystic hygromas, are a collection of small cysts. 

The cysts are filled with a clear fluid similar to the fluid in a blister. 

The cysts have no purpose and can cause problems. The walls of the cysts are quite thin and contain little blood vessels.

Cystic hygromas most commonly form on the neck and armpits.

They occur when the lymph vessels fail to form correctly during the first few weeks of pregnancy. 

Due to them occurring so early on in pregnancies, they cannot be prevented.

Cystic hygromas can be detected during pregnancy scans. 

Most are visible during birth or early infancy and appear as painless, translucent, soft lumps.

Treatment is not always required but may involve surgical removal or injection sclerotherapy.

Sclerotherapy causes an inflammatory reaction that makes cystic hygromas shrink.

Cosmetic surgery may be performed in later life to reduce scarring.

They affect up to one per cent of newborns in the UK. Their US prevalence is unknown. 

Source: Great Ormond Street Hospital 



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