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Cameroonian woman smiles again after 8 years following tumour surgery

Brinkwire | A mother has smiled and acknowledged her beauty for the first time in eight years after surgeons removed her enormous facial tumour.

Known only as Yaya, the 27-year-old was barely able to speak or eat because of the huge mass growing inside of her mouth.

The tumour, which stretched down one side of her face and around her chin, left her too embarrassed to leave her house.

She would only dare to venture outside and come into contact with cruel strangers when her face was entirely covered by a scarf.

But, after an operation by surgeons on-board a charity ship, Yaya, from Cameroon, Africa, is proud of her ‘new’ face.

Speaking about the results of the life-changing procedure for the first time, she told doctors: ‘I feel beautiful and happy.’

Yaya, who was operated on by medics from charity Mercy Ships, added: ‘Since the surgery, I feel released. Everything is easier to do.

‘I feel free to move and go anywhere. I don’t get a reaction anymore from people who see me.’

It took eight years for a tiny lump on Yaya’s jaw to grow until she was barely able to eat or speak.

She was unable to find doctors or the funds to have an operation, until the hospital ship docked nearby.

While on board for treatment, she helped translate for other patients, before she was well enough to return to see her daughter Moonira, nine.

Mercy Ships was founded in 1978 and has worked in more than 70 countries.

Tumours can be benign or cancerous. Unlike cancerous tumours, benign ones usually grow slowly and do not spread.

These only become a problem if they grow to be very large, press on organs, release hormones, or are uncomfortable or unsightly.

Cancerous tumours get bigger as their cells continue to grow and divide.







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  1. And some still believe in witchcraft.

  2. Where There’s Hope , There’s Life: Take Courage my Sister. I know those 8 Years were difficult but better Days are coming! I pray that your Smile shall be permanent. Amen

    • The best part of this narrative is that others can come to Cameroon and offer to the people what their brothers and sisters are also offering to patients in other lands. Isn’t that wonderful?

    • Even more importantly, where there is life there must be hope!

  3. Tumors can be benign or cancerous???
    This is tautology!

    Tumors can be benign or they can be malignant.(tumor =cancer).

    • Malignant = cancerous

    • @John Dinga, I think there is no tautology in this article. The writer is correct. Yes tumors can be benign(non cancerous) or malignant(cancerous). Not all tumors are cancer. Only malignant tumors are cancer. Benign tumors (like the one this woman had) are not cancer. So not all tumors are cancer.

      • Careful friend. John Dinga hates to be corrected.

        • No, that is incorrect. I detest avoidable flaws but I am also aware of the fact that a man has the choice to remain silent or to open his mouth and confirm his own stupidity.

      • @mbru is 100% correct. “…. not all tumors are cancer”.

    • There goes the notorious academic fraud! A supposed PhD in the bio-medical sciences ought to know that a tumour and cancer are neither synonyms nor can they be used interchangeably. What a pity!

    • The writer is right sir. And u are also right as per what u defined.

  4. Indeed you are truly beautiful dear. The education Boko Haram and Issa Tchiroma are refusing to let beautiful girls like you have is demonstrating a wonderful effect here. Why does such patients have to wait 8 long years for a free health service from a charity? Big heart and strong beautiful girl. Wish you every happiness after your surgery.

    • We have had the likes of president Ahidjo, Buba Belo, Tchiroma, Cavaye etc,
      from the north. All we see, is poor educational fascilities, lack of good water
      etc etc. Let me end here, please, as you know the rest.
      The human mind, is really wicked.

  5. God bless the crew.Wish u a happy life