Transgender man, 24, who thought his bloated stomach was a lockdown weight gain has removed an ovarian tumor after it grew more than a FOOT wide and made it look pregnant
- WARNING: GRAPHICS
- Ezra Varley, 24, Vancouver, Canada, noticed he was gaining weight during lockdown
- Months later I started to notice sharp abdominal pain and the abdomen was ‘rock hard’
- An ultrasound revealed a mass so large that medics ‘couldn’t see any of his organs’
- Ezra was not considered a priority for surgery because the tumor was non-cancerous
A transgender man who thought his bloated stomach was due to weight gain was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor that grew more than a foot wide.
Ezra Varley, 24, from Vancouver, Canada, noticed he was piling on pounds in April 2020 and thought it was because of his poor eating habits, before developing a sharp stomachache and noticing that his stomach felt “rock hard.”
An ultrasound revealed a mass so large that medics “couldn’t see any of his organs” and further tests showed he had a 33cm tumor extending from his right ovary to his lungs.
The mass grew so much that Ezra looked pregnant, but with the hospital overrun with Covid patients, he was not considered a priority for surgery because his tumor was non-cancerous
Ezra Varley, 24, of Vancouver, Canada, thought his bloated stomach was the result of weight gain before being diagnosed with an ovarian tumor that grew more than a foot wide
Ezra eventually had surgery to remove the tumor, from which he took eight weeks to recover. In the picture he is recovering in the hospital after his surgery
“It was a very disturbing time for me, and it was clear from the doctors that my surgery was not a priority,” Ezra said.
“I was diagnosed with the tumor at the height of the pandemic and I was conflicted because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time.
“People were dying from Covid, so the hospital wasn’t really where I wanted to be at the time anyway, so I just accepted that I might have to wait a while for the surgery.
“During that time the tumor just kept growing and in September it looked like I was pregnant!”
An ultrasound revealed a mass so large that medics “couldn’t see any of his organs” and further tests showed he had a 33cm tumor extending from his right ovary to his lungs
But with the hospital overrun with Covid patients, Ezra was not considered a priority for surgery because his tumor was non-cancerous and the mass grew to the point that Ezra looked “pregnant.” He is pictured LR before his surgery
The mass (pictured) was even greater than the doctors had initially suspected. The tumor caused constant shooting pains throughout his body, which he compared to ‘having a knife in the liver’
“It was really weird to feel all my organs come back into place in me after being crushed for so long,” said Ezra, who is recovering from surgery.
Ezra’s life became increasingly difficult as the size of the tumor prevented him from doing basic things.
He lost his job as a barista and had to apply for social assistance benefits from the government.
As his condition worsened day by day, the tumor eventually grew so large that pressure on his spine caused a disc to slip, causing massive back pain.
Ezra likened the constant stabbing pains throughout his body to “having a knife in the liver.”
Growths That May Be Cancerous Or Benign: What Is An Ovarian Tumor?
Ovarian tumors are abnormal growths that start in the ovary and can be cancerous or benign.
In cancer, nine out of ten arise from the cell lining the ovaries and fallopian tubes – known as epithelial ovarian cancer.
High-grade serous ovarian cancer makes up six in ten epithelial cases. Most actually in the fallopian tubes.
These growths are usually treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Low-grade serous cancers account for only one in ten epithelial cases. These grow slowly and usually occur in younger women.
Surgery is the most effective treatment for low-grade serous epithelial cancers.
Mucinous tumors make up a small percentage of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Other types of ovarian tumors include:
endometrioid: May be associated with endometriosis. A third of patients also have uterine cancer or precancerous thickening of the endometrium
clear cell: accounts for four percent of ovarian tumors
undifferentiated: Consists of cells that are very undeveloped, making it difficult to see where they come from
Brenner: accounts for 1 to 2 percent of ovarian tumors. Usually occurs in women over 40 and is benign – less than five percent are cancerous
boundary line: Also known as ‘low malignant potential tumors’ – grow very slowly and are unlikely to spread
carcinosarcoma: Contains tissue similar to both epithelial and connective tissue cancer (sarcoma)
Source: Target ovarian cancer
Finally, in January 2021, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor, from which he took eight weeks to recover. The mass was even greater than the doctors had initially suspected.
“After the surgery, I felt like I’d never had a normal body before,” he said.
‘I had forgotten what it was like not to be in constant pain and I was overjoyed – I suddenly had my life back.
“It was really weird to feel all my organs in me come back into place after being crushed for so long.
“But once that settled down, I could finally start living again.
“I want other trans people to learn from what I’ve been through by paying attention to their bodies and not being afraid to get the help they need.”