- Brenda Cridland thought she was gaining weight due to menopause, but it turned out she had a 50-pound tumour caused by undiagnosed endometriosis, the Associated Press reported.
- After undergoing a two-and-a-half-hour surgery, the benign tumour was removed.
- Cridland wants others, especially women, to take her story to heart and see a doctor immediately if they experience health issues.
Brenda Cridland thought she was gaining weight due to menopause, and didn’t think to seek medical advice. But as her health began to deteriorate at an alarming rate, she saw a doctor who determined her weight gain was actually a 50-pound tumour, the Associated Press reported. The tumour, although it was benign, was large enough to interfere with Cridland’s organs and even cut off blood flow to her brain.
“I would take one bite of something and it would make me feel nauseous,” Cridland told KTVB of her strange symptoms. “My stomach was like a rock.”
But that was only part of the medical discovery. Cridland also learned at the time that she had endometriosis, a condition where tissue from the uterus grows outside of it, causing pain and even infertility. Following Cridland’s diagnosis, she underwent a two-and-a-half-hour surgery to remove the large tumour.
Endometriosis is an incurable condition that can cause painful sex, cramps, and trouble getting pregnant
Benign tumours like the one Cridland had are actually fairly common among people with endometriosis, according to a 2017 study in Oncology Letters. The study found that, out of 1,000 women with the disease, 557 of them had some kind of cyst or tissue mass in their uteruses or ovaries.
In addition to the potential formation of tumours and cysts,endometriosis can cause painful cramps and sex, and even infertility.
Luckily, the benign status of the tumour meant Cridland was free of cancer.
Mistaking tumours for weight gain is more common than expected
Cridland’s story is not an uncommon one. In May 2018, INSIDER reported on Kevin Daly struggled to lose weight in his mid-section after already losing 34 pounds. After visiting several doctors and getting a CAT scan, he discovered that his excess weight was actually a 30-pound tumour.
Similarly, in late 2018, Hector Hernandez learned he had a 77-pound cancerous tumour in what he thought was “beer belly,” INSIDER previously reported.
Like Daly and Hernandez, Cridland hopes her story encourages others to seek medical attention if they think something is wrong. In fact, she told KTVB that her doctor said if she waited one or two weeks more to see a healthcare professional, it “could’ve been life or death.” Now, fortunately, she only has to see the doctor once a year for a regular checkup.
Cridland did not immediately reply to INSIDER’s request for comment.
- Read more:
- 9 answers to the most common questions about endometriosis that you were too scared to ask
- 7 scary signs you could have endometriosis
- Julianne Hough opens up about her battle with endometriosis – here’s everything you need to know about the incurable illness
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