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Thursday, December 8, 2022

London woman has a tumour the size of football removed – South London News

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A woman has been given a second chance at life after surgeons removed a 25cm tumour from her chest in a rare operation at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Giovanna Distefano, 37, had no idea that the mass – as big as a football – had been growing between her lungs until unrelated stiffness in her neck prompted her to get a scan.

Doctors found she had a large, rare stage 4 thymoma – a relatively slow-growing tumour which had invaded major vascular structures in her chest.

Because of the size and complexity of the tumour’s location, Giovanna, who is a single parent to a three-year-old daughter, had been previously told it was inoperable and was given just months to live.

Now, a year since she had her first scan in early 2021, surgeons have removed the thymoma and her left lung and Giovanna has already travelled back to see family in her native Italy.

Giovanna runs hair and beauty salons in her home borough and in neighbouring Islington.

She said: “I feel like I am living again. I feel good. I’m walking two or three miles a day now, a bit like a 90-year-old woman, but I’m doing it.

The surgery was a success. I can’t wait to go back to pilates classes and to start running again – having one lung isn’t going to stop me.”

 

Pictured: Giovanna Distefano

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