A 27-year-old PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)was given the opportunity to dissect his own brain tumor during a 10-hour surgery that aimed to remove the baseball-size mass.
In 2007, Steven Keating volunteered for a brain scan while studying at the MIT. The scan revealed something Keating didn’t expect as it detected an abnormality in his brain. However, doctors told Keating it was nothing to be concerned about at that time.
But after a follow-up scan in 2014, Keating found out that the abnormality had grown and became a tumor. The devastating diagnosis showed that the huge tumor, known as astrocytoma, was covering 10 percent of his brain including his frontal and left lobe.
During the gruelling operation, Keating requested to have access to his tumor so that he could dissect it.
“They kept me awake so I could talk… with my head open, so my language center wouldn’t be damaged,” Keating recounted.
Moreover, he also asked for the medical procedure to be videotaped.
Watch the video of his surgery.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumor
A mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain or proximate to the brain is called a brain tumor. There are many different types of brain tumors that exist. While some brain tumors are benign or noncancerous, others are malignat. Some brain tumors begin in the brain and are referred to as primary brain tumors, while other start from other parts of the body and spread to the brain.
Here are some signs and symptoms of brain tumor, according to Mayo Clinic.
- Headaches that slowly become more frequent and more severe.
- Change in pattern of headaches
- Unexplained vomiting or nausea
- Having problems in vision such as double vision, blurred vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Difficulty with balance
- Progressive loss of sensation or movement either in an arm or a leg
- Having difficulties in speech
- Changes in personality or behaviour
- Problems in hearing
- Seizures, particularly in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
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