The Times of India
Bengaluru | March 7, 2015

Sunitha Rao R

Cancer patient from Tanzania delivers healthy baby boy

When Rebecca Kokushubira Kaijanante got to know she's going to be a mother, she was ecstatic. But her joy was short-lived. In the sixth month of pregnancy, doctors dropped a bomb on her. A tumour was growing inside her along with the baby.

Rebecca, 27, from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, began to experience unbearable pain in the left side of her abdomen, unusual during pregnancy. Not being able to figure out much from scans, doctors decided to operate on her thinking it may be a fibroid growth.

When they started the surgery, the malignant tumour in her kidney reared its ugly head. That's when she turned to Bengaluru for help. She was referred to HGC hospital and after some tests, she was shifted to Milann hospital.

Rebecca, who came here in February 2015, was suggested to undergo a C-section in the 34th week of pregnancy. She recently delivered a baby boy, who's premature but healthy (weighs 1.4kg). Rebecca was operated on March 4 for removal of the tumour. "It's a rare case. I've seen something like this for the first time in 25 years of my career", said Dr Kamini A Rao, medical director, Milann hospital.

"To save the baby, we had to do a premature delivery. Chances of having a cancerous growth in the kidney during pregnancy are one in a million," Dr Kamini added.

For Rebecca, the disease has taken a backseat after the arrival of her bundle of joy. "When I was diagnosed with cancer, I thought I will lose my baby. I'm glad Domain (her son) is doing well," she smiled.

Having a cancer in the kidney is rare, specially during pregnancy, said Dr Uday Bhaskar, uro-oncologist, HCG cancer care. "This kind of tumour grows as pregnancy progresses. It was 6cm long when the patient was in Tanzania. It grew to 22cm and weighed 8kg. There was a lot of internal bleeding. Post-surgery, there won't be a relapse. She doesn't require chemotherapy or radiation," he said.