Woman With ‘Normal’ Belly Fat As Per Doctors Diagnosed With Rare Cancer

Karen Thrussell, a Melbourne mother of two, received the devastating news at the age of 48. She was diagnosed with liposarcoma, an incredibly uncommon form of cancer that develops in fat cells.

The cancer had been slowly spreading around her belly for a decade, encircling her vital organs and giving the impression that she had gained weight.

Karen initially attributed her 7.5-kilogram weight increase, which started after the birth of her second kid, to the demands of being a working mother.

It was the same thing that she blamed when she began to feel fatigued.

After naturopaths and physicians failed to assist Karen in losing weight, Karen believed their claims that her condition was due to hormones and the natural aging process.

The onset of heat flashes led her and the physicians to conclude that menopausal changes were the culprits.

She appeared pregnant, and ironically, she felt that old familiar ‘push’ from underneath one day. Karen explained that it felt similar to the pressure a mother feels when her water breaks and her body prepares to give birth. But she was not expecting.

The only thing that made sense to her was that it was a prolapse. Without hesitation, Karen made her way to the doctor, who promptly advised her to have an internal ultrasound.

Somewhat quickly, she became aware that something was off. Others entered and exited the room, whispering, and the techs looked concerned.

The doctors informed her that they had discovered something on a kidney but were unsure of its nature. After further testing, Karen received the terrible diagnosis that she had cancer.

The enormous tumor, along with a kidney and part of her intestines, were removed during an eleven-hour operation. She said the cancer was the size of twins. 

Karen is sharing her experience in the hopes that more people will hear about sarcoma and other uncommon diseases so that medical professionals may better assist their patients.

According to the Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association (ANZSA), thirty percent of all malignancies diagnosed in Australia are uncommon cancers.