A 73-year-old woman in Spain was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer because she had a red lump growing out of her belly button, called a "Sister Mary Joseph’s nodule." (Stock image)
A 73-year-old woman in Spain with a painful red lump growing out of her belly button was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a new report said.
Two days before the unidentified woman went to the hospital in Madrid, the “umbilical nodule,” also called a "Sister Mary Joseph’s nodule," had started to bleed, according to the report published in The New England Journal of Medicine last week.
The painful nodule, which measured 0.8 in., had reportedly been growing out of her belly button for four months.
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When doctors at the Hospital Universitario Fundacion Jimenez Diaz examined the woman, they were also able to feel a pelvic mass, the report said.
Dr. Javier Barambio, a general surgery and digestive system physician at the hospital, treated the woman and co-wrote the report with Dr. Lorena Brandariz, according to Live Science.
Barambio told the outlet the Sister Mary Joseph’s nodule is “relatively rare.”
According to Stanford Medicine, the nodule is caused by either gastrointestinal cancers (such as gastric cancer, colon cancer, or pancreatic cancer) or gynecological cancers (such as ovarian cancer or uterine cancer).
The nodule is usually a sign the disease is advanced, according to Stanford Medicine.
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Scans of the woman’s abdomen showed the nodule and a “heterogeneous pelvic mass” that was 4.3 in. x 4.3 in. x 3.7 in., according to the report.
Doctors also found a moderate buildup of fluid, called ascites, in her abdomen and a rare type of cancer called peritoneal carcinomatosis.
The woman was diagnosed with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, the report said.
She had surgery to remove the tumor and received chemotherapy to prevent the growth of any others, according to the report. Barambio told Live Science the woman is now in “good general condition” and is free of the illness, thanks to her treatment.
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