Grandmother's face is engulfed by a 'heavy' tumour that doctors can't remove - but the 40-year-old claims she 'isn't bothered' by it

March 15, 2019  11:57

A grandmother claims she isn't bothered by a 'heavy' tumour engulfing one side of her face.

Aline Cerqueria Leite, from Três Rios, Brazil, has neurofibromatosis, an incurable inherited condition which caused the tumour.

The mother-of-three recently found out the mass has spread to her spread to her eyes, nose and the back of her mouth.

She has had many small operations over the years to manage the growth, but now, doctors have said surgery is too risky and could rob her of her eyesight.

NF1 affects one in 3,000 people in the UK and 100,000 people in the US to some extent, causing a variety of disabilities, skin changes and growths.

Ms Cerqueria Leite's tumour is known as a plexiform neurofibroma, a complex mass of connective tissue that has grown along the nerves in her face.

The tumour has been slowly distorting Ms Cerqueria Leite's face since she was three years old.

She said: 'The syndrome makes my face a bit heavy but the rest is okay, not bad. It doesn't bother me much.

'My face was much bigger. In total I underwent 14 surgeries. The last one stopped my face from dropping again.'

Ms Cerqueria Leite was preparing herself for her first surgery in seven years, to reduce the bulk of the tumour and lift her mouth and ear.

But after travelling 124miles (200km) to Rio, she was told that her tumour had spread to her optic nerve.

Any invasive surgery could risk her losing her sight, which doctors believed was not worth it.

Dr Daher, who inspected her tumour, said: 'It is [also] invading the nasal cavity. It has extended into the jaw.

'It is very wide and infiltrative. At this moment, it's not practical to cut it out.'

The doctor has decided to monitor the growth of Ms Cerqueria Leite's tumour to understand how it is developing.

Ms Cerqueria Leite is determined to enjoy her life.

She said: 'It wasn't what I expected. But I've not lost hope. I continue on, firm that I will make it.'

Her daughter, Ana, added: 'I am proud of her for being the mother she is for doing what she does for us.

'Also, because she joins us to have fun and takes each day as it comes.

'And for never giving up the fight for herself or for us.'

Source: The Daily Mail

Photos: Discovery/Barcroft Productions


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