KEY POINTS

  • Rakshith was treated by a medical team based in the UAE
  • His symptoms began as severe back pain 
  • He also underwent 20 chemo sessions before the surgery

Doctors have successfully removed over 50 tumors from an aspiring boxer's abdomen through a complex and 16-hour-long surgery. The 20-year-old suffered from a rare and aggressive cancer called desmoplastic small round cell tumors (DSRCT). 

Rakshith Doreswamygowda, hailing from the Indian city of Bengaluru, underwent the surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in UAE in May, reported Khaleej Times.

Rakshith was just 17 when he began experiencing severe back pain, which he initially thought was due to long training hours. He visited a local clinic, where he was given painkillers.

However, as his pain lingered on, Rakshith visited another hospital where he was diagnosed with DSRCT. His condition was so complex that the doctors told him there was no treatment available in India. 

DSRCT often appears as multiple tumors in the tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen and pelvis. They quickly spread to other structures within the abdomen. Though the condition occurs most often in young men and boys, it can also affect women.

"My heart broke with the news of my diagnosis and lack of treatment options. All my dreams of becoming a boxer and going to college were in ruins. I didn’t want to give up because I am my family’s hope, and I have so much I want to do. I searched online and found a doctor in the US who is an expert in this type of cancer and wrote to her for help," Rakshith said, according to the report.

Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan, a pediatric surgical oncologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, replied to Rakshith, suggesting he begins chemotherapy in India before traveling to the United States for surgery. 

However, his visa applications got rejected, after which Dr. Hayes-Jordan referred him to Dr. Yasir Akmal, a surgical oncologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, reported Emirates News Agency.

Rakshith had already undergone more than 20 chemo sessions by the time he arrived at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

His surgery was finally performed on May 10. Doctors removed over 50 tumors from his body, including two around his pancreas and on his pelvic region. After removing the tumors, a single dose of heated chemotherapy drugs was delivered directly to his abdomen to destroy any remaining cancer cells. 

Following his successful surgery, Rakshith returned home to India, where he will continue to receive follow-up care from local doctors. 

surgery Representational image. Photo: Pixabay