Smiling is a normal part of everyone's life. But Theresa Neri, a 35-year-old woman from Kenya, couldn't smile at all after suffering from a cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma, a type of cancer that affects areas of the face, especially the nose, eyes and mouth.
When she had surgery to remove her mouth, her life changed so much that it affected her appearance and especially her smile.
How did the problem start?
“When I woke up one morning, I suddenly started feeling sick. I had a lot of pain that started at the bottom of my neck and there was also a bit of mucus discharge,” she recalls.
The woman was on her way to school, where she was a teacher, but when she arrived that day she found it difficult to speak due to the severe pain.
He had to go to the hospital because of a headache. When he reached the hospital, the doctor in charge advised him to undergo various tests, especially on his nose and cheeks, where he felt severe pain.
“I was finally diagnosed with a rare cancer known as adenoid cystic carcinoma which affects areas of the face, including the eyes, nose and ears. The results of the research surprised Mrs. Njeri.
I remember having nothing to say. As soon as I hear the word cancer, I feel death, I immediately think that I don't have much time on earth.
Theresa began to seek medical help to save her life. He remembered having a 12 year old who depended on him for everything, so he was brave and decided to fight till the end.
He said his treatment should have accelerated in the country and around the world after the announcement of the crown pandemic.
He had to accept that important body parts like the face, gums and throat had to be completely removed and replaced with artificial ones.
Undoubtedly, this treatment changed his face so much that he says that people who knew him three years ago don't know him anymore, mainly because of the large amount of metal that was in his mouth and part of his nose and eyes. .
Njeri's mother said because of the problem, she can no longer chew solid food and instead uses processed foods such as baby food.
The scissors that Neri used to open his mouth
This is due to damage to the main bone that holds the cheek on the affected side, as well as the part that connects the mouth to the nose, not the special metal implant.
The woman also said that her mouth could not be opened at all and had to use special scissors.
Another challenge she faced was her inability to speak aloud, a situation that forced her to quit her job as a teacher because she could no longer speak aloud.
What is adenoid cystic carcinoma?
Also known as adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), this cancer is a very rare and unusual form of cancer.
It usually affects middle-aged and elderly people, and most cases occur on the scalp and neck, but experts do not rule out the possibility that people of other ages are affected.
The main problem is that this type of cancer is not uncommon, so it is rare among experts to understand it.
It is known about this disease that often when the swelling begins to be painless, so the swelling slowly continues to grow. Treatment is through surgery or chemotherapy.
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