Man's 'beer belly' turns out to be 77-pound tumor


A California man whose growing midsection often drew stares recently learned that what looked like a "beer belly" was actually a 77-pound tumor.

>> See the images here

According to The New York Times, Hector Hernandez, 47, of Downey, California, couldn't figure out why he kept gaining weight despite rarely drinking alcohol, exercising and switching to a vegetable-rich diet. 

"I just thought I was fat," he said.

A doctor initially said the same during a 2016 checkup, Hernandez said. But after getting another opinion in 2017, he found surgical oncologist Dr. William Tseng with the University of Southern California.

>> Read more trending news 

Hernandez was surprised to learn that he had a "retroperitoneal liposarcoma, a cancer that starts in the fat cells at the back of the abdomen," according to a USC news release. The tumor weighed 77 pounds.

In July 2018, Tseng removed the tumor in a six-hour surgery. 

“It was very gratifying to see his before and after photos and see him back at the size he was four or five years ago,” Tseng said. “To be able to take it out safely and see him enjoy a good quality of life after, that’s a big thing.”

Hernandez said he's almost back to his old self. 

"Oh, my God, I feel great," he told the Times.

Friends and family members have started a GoFundMe campaign for Hernandez. Learn more here.


Reader Comments


Next Up in Health

Christmas 2018: 20 darling couples gifts that your daughter-in-law will actually like
Christmas 2018: 20 darling couples gifts that your daughter-in-law will actually like

When your adult child gets married, you double the holiday fun if you're lucky. But you also multiply the gift-giving quandaries.  After all, you've had a whole lifetime to get to know your child's gift preferences. Working another person into the equation can be an occasion for advice-column-level misunderstandings, burst budgets and a new family...
Ohio small businesses may get more access to employee health data
Ohio small businesses may get more access to employee health data

A proposed Ohio law could help small businesses shop for affordable health insurance by letting them see details on expensive health insurance claims, though critics say it would violate employee medical privacy. For employees with a claim that’s $30,000 or more, Senate Bill 227 will allow insurers to provide companies the amount paid toward...
The best handmade gifts we discovered at Urban Handmade
The best handmade gifts we discovered at Urban Handmade

Urban Handmade in Yellow Springs carries work from more than 70 artists and makers specializing in jewelry, accessories, home decor, clothing, handbags, paper goods, bath and body, original art and more.  Their slogan is "power to the artists" and based on the contents of their shop they believe it.  The downtown Yellow Springs...
What is Kwanzaa? 7 enlightening facts about the holiday
What is Kwanzaa? 7 enlightening facts about the holiday

In 2018, Kwanzaa celebrates its 52nd anniversary but compared to its more popular counterparts, it is relatively unknown.  Here are a few facts to help anyone that is curious and considering celebrating this holiday. Karenga, born Ron Everett, created the holiday during a particularly tumultuous time in American history. Karenga was a member of...
Meet the University of Dayton graduate who is in charge of the Grammy Museum
Meet the University of Dayton graduate who is in charge of the Grammy Museum

Michael Sticka’s love of the arts and dedication to community, two significant attributes instilled in him while growing up in Xenia and memorably co-founding imaginatively whimsical Zoot Theatre Company, is serving him well in his duties as Executive Director of the Recording Academy’s Grammy Museum, one of the most prestigious cultural...
More Stories