Gut feeling: Texas woman has 17-pound tumor removed after getting second opinion

DALLAS — A second opinion never hurts. A Texas woman followed her gut feeling, and it saved her life.

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Amanda Shoultz, 29, of Dallas is recovering after a 17-pound cancerous tumor was removed from her body last week, WFAA reported.

“Life throws us curveballs,” Shoultz wrote on Facebook. “And this one hit me straight in the face.”

Shoultz said she was alarmed that she was gaining weight around her stomach. She changed her diet and began exercising more, but there was no change, the television station reported.

“I started physically noticing a change in my stomach in January,” Shoultz told WFAA. “I had noticed I was slowly starting to gain weight over the years, but I just thought it was part of getting older.

“But this, my stomach almost looked like I was bloated all the time.”

Shoultz, a senior marketing and public relations consultant at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas, decided to visit a physician but all tests came back normal.

“Completely normal and nothing out of the ordinary,” she told WFAA.

Still skeptical, Shoultz made an appointment with a gastroenterologist, who conducted another round of bloodwork and ordered a CT scan.

The scan found the issue -- a cancerous tumor that was 33 centimeters wide was growing inside Shoultz’s stomach. On Sept. 21, she was diagnosed with Liposarcoma, a rare type of cancer that develops in a person’s fat tissue.

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Liposarcoma affects approximately 2,000 people annually in the United States.

Six days after the diagnosis, Shoultz underwent surgery at Baylor University Medical Center, WFAA reported. Because the tumor had wrapped around one of Shoultz’s kidneys and adrenal glands, both had to be removed, the television station reported.

Shoultz said she was stunned to learn the tumor weighed 17 pounds.

“When I woke up, and they told me it weighed that much, I remember being like, ‘I think I misheard you because of the medication I’m on,’” Shoultz told WFAA. “That’s massive.”

Doctors told Shoultz the cancer had not spread, and she was released from the hospital after five days. She said she was thankful she followed her instincts and listened to her gut.

“Listen to your body because no one knows it better than you,” Shoultz told WFAA. “If all the tests are coming back fine and you still see changes in your body, go to your doctor.”

On Facebook, Shoultz said her goal before she turned 30 was to beat cancer.

“To allow myself to stay strong and focused, I chose to deal with this privately with a close group of family and friends,” Shoultz wrote on Facebook. “I am now home and on the road to recovery, and am happy to share with all of you that I am OK.”