A teen's tumour had teeth, hair, and bones, and it turned out to be her unborn twin

ShutterstockThe teen’s tumour ran from her liver to her pelvic bone.
  • A 17-year-old in India told her doctors she had pain in her abdomen and that she had a growing lump in that same area for the past five years.
  • After examining the teen, doctors found she had the rare condition foetus in fetu, or FIF, where a malformed foetus is found in the body of its twin.
  • The pain the teen was experiencing came from a tumour made from the malformed twin’s remaining teeth, hair, and bones.
  • There is only one case of FIF for every 500,000 births.
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When a 17-year-old teen showed up at a hospital in India complaining about abdominal pain and a growing lump in the same area, doctors examined her and found something shocking.

The lump was actually a tumour that contained the remnants of the girl’s malformed twin, including teeth, bones, and hair, according to the doctors, who wrote about their findings in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

The teen’s condition is called foetus in fetu, or FIF. It’s rare, with only one case occurring for about every 500,000 births. According to the study authors, only 200 previous cases like this have been documented in medical journals.

FIF-related tumours are usually benign, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The teen had intermittent stomach pains

When the girl arrived at the hospital, she said she’d had the growth for the past five years and it had been growing bigger over time. She also told doctors she felt periodic stomach pains and got full quickly when she ate.

In previous FIF cases, symptoms of the condition like abdominal pain didn’t occur right away. In one case, a 27-year-old man recalled having the malformed mass since childhood but said it didn’t cause him any pain until he was 26 years old. Doctors are unsure why this happens.

The teen didn’t have any problems with her bowel movements, menstruation, or body weight, according to the doctors, but they decided to do scans of her body since the lump was hard to the touch.

When the scans were complete, doctors said they saw bits of muscles and fragments that resembled ribs and a spine, and were then able to diagnose the teen with FIF.

Doctors surgically removed the mass through the teen’s stomach

To remove the tumour, doctors opened the teen’s stomach through surgery. Once opened, they found the tumour ran from her liver to her pelvic bone. They said it didn’t create any complications with other organs in her body besides a cyst, which they removed.

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They also noted the tumour contained hair, teeth, bones, and “other body parts.”

Following the tumour removal, doctors said the teen made a full recovery and didn’t have any complications two years after the surgery.

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