Mercy Surgical Oncologist Dr. Armando Sardi Performs Surgery To Remove Tumor From Gardner’s Syndrome Patient
Two years ago, plenty of people thought that Donna Dabney was expecting a baby.
“I had a lot of people ask me, ‘Are you pregnant?’ You get the looks…” Dabney said.
She’d say, “I just have a real bad growth right now, but it’s going away soon.”
That growth was a 15 pound tumor.
Surgical oncologist Dr. Armando Sardi, Director of the Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy, removed the tumor during a 13-hour surgery. The mass had grown on to her abdominal wall and into her bowels.
According to Dr. Sardi, the tumor is the result of a rare genetic disorder called Gardner’s Syndrome.
“Gardner’s Syndrome is a genetic predisposition—in other words, the patient has a gene which predisposes them to have a variety of tumors,” he said.
Dr. Sardi noted that the gene can causes thousands of polyps to form in the colon, as well as large tumors in other areas, and it can start at a young age.
“Most of the people (with the Gardner’s Syndrome gene) will develop cancer by age 30,” Dr. Sardi added.
While colonoscopies are used to track and treat the polyps, Dr. Sardi notes that there are often “just too many.”
“So at some point, in the progression of the disease, you have to decide when to remove the whole colon,” Dr. Sardi said.
Ms. Dabney had most of her colon removed when she was in her teens; however, tumors like the one Dr. Sardi removed can reoccur, so she will have to be followed carefully.
For now, Dabney is pleased she no longer has to look at that “daily reminder” of her disease.
“I was self-conscious at one time, with people looking at me, I had to wear my shirts outside. I’m so glad I can wear my shirts inside my pants now,” Dabney said.
According to Ms. Dabney, her tumor had been growing two years before she met Dr. Sardi; prior to coming under Dr. Sardi’s care, she had been told her tumor was inoperable.