Doctors remove cancerous tumor the size of a 5-pound basketball from the liver of a Long Island man

BAY SHORE, Long Island (WABC) – A Long Island father of four had no idea a rare cancer was invading his body until doctors removed the balloon-sized 5-pound tumor basketball from his liver.

Doctors at South Shore University Hospital removed the tumor from Margarito Banos, 43, of Central Islip, in March in an operation that lasted eight hours.

“He saved my life,” Banos tearfully told Dr. Gary Deutsch, who led the surgical team.

Doctors discovered the tumor in August 2020 when Banos was admitted to hospital with severe digestive issues and weakness.

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They first tried to treat the tumor with chemotherapy, but it did not shrink. The tumor was also producing hormones that were damaging Banos’ heart.

Banos, a professional carpenter, was nearly placed in hospice care. But as a last resort, the doctors made the bold decision to operate.

“That tumor was slowly killing him,” Deutsch said. “We had a very honest discussion between us about the heroic attempt to try and get this tumor out.”

Banos’ family encouraged him to have surgery.

“I told him, ‘You have to fight this,'” his sister Raquel Diaz said. “‘You are a soldier. You are the one who can fight this.'”

Dr Deutsch said they removed 95 per cent of the tumor and two-thirds of Banos’ liver, but were unable to remove all of the tumor due to the damage it would have could have caused to the rest of the liver.

The human liver regrows, however, and Dr. Deutsch said Banos’ liver levels show his liver is growing back and functioning properly.

Dr. Deutsch called the surgery humiliating.

“It gets someone from the hospice to walk around town and spend time with their family,” he said.

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Dr Deutsch said the tumor would most likely grow back, but they are ready to help every step of the way.

“I think it’s really a second life here,” said Dr Deutsch. “We still have a lot of tricks up our sleeve.

Although Banos is expected to undergo heart valve replacement surgery in the near future due to damage caused by hormones emanating from the tumor, he said he is hopeful for the future.

“Everything will be fine in my life,” he said.

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