Medical student discovers in the classroom that he has cancer

Photograph published by @gabriellabarboza when he got over the disease.

A medical student from Brazil discovered that she had cancer thanks to an examination carried out by her teacher in the classroom to illustrate to all students how to do head physicals and neck of patients. The teacher asked Gabriella Barboza to participate as a model for an exercise that she wanted to teach her students how the thyroids are palpated

During a recent interview on the BBC Brazil television network, Gabriella Barboza recounted how she noticed that her teacher had detected something strange in his neck during this illustrative exploration. “I noticed something in the teacher that did not seem normal to him and at the end of the class I asked him if he had noticed something different while he was feeling my neck, and he told me: ‘There is something there, take a look at it'”.

Daniel Lichtenthaler, a specialist in Geriatrics and Internal Medicine, explains to BBC Brazil that he noticed that the student’s thyroid had a significant and asymmetric increase. This reason motivated that she was the one who served as a model in the technical demonstration. “The first student used as an example had a small thyroid, which is normal. So I quickly looked at the necks of other students and Gabriella’s caught my attention,” says the doctor who explains how he noticed the gland enlargement touching the young woman’s thyroid. “We were lucky that she presented the anatomical abnormality right in the head and neck exam class,” says Lichtenthaler.

After the alarm signal, the medical student took her professor’s words seriously and went to perform some medical tests which resulted in a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. “If I hadn’t gone to class that day, maybe they wouldn’t have discovered the disease so soon. My diagnosis would have taken much longer and could have been more serious,” says Barboza.

The Diagnosis: Thyroid and Esophageal Cancer

The discovery of her teacher helped Gabriella Barboza to remedy, but when they confirmed the diagnosis, the disease had already spread and had affected other areas of the neck. In addition, they found cancer in a part of her esophagus. Despite the harsh result of the medical tests carried out, the medical student received a positive reaction from her doctors who explained in detail that she survival rate of this type of cancer is very high.

In November 2020, this young woman underwent a surgery to remove the thyroid and the tumor mass that had spread to other parts of her neck. Afterward, she began treatment. In January 2021 she had a session of iodine therapy, indicated in this case to eliminate the remains of the disease that could remain in your body. The procedure turned out to be a success and in February 2021 she was discharged after verifying that there were no more traces of cancer in her body.

After cancer, a new stage begins

“After months of struggle, I want to record this extraordinary moment in my life, which made me a better person and made me see the world in a different way,” wrote Gabriella Barboza on social networks after overcoming the disease thanks to the discovery of her Medicine professor.

Together with a compilation of images of his visit to the hospital to receive the cancer treatmentthe medical student wrote a message of thanks: “And I beat cancer! After months of fighting, I want to record this extraordinary moment in my life, which made me a better person and made me see the world in a different way. I wanted to thank all the support I had from everyone who knew and was with me in this important stage! Thank you for everything. I was reborn and now a new stage begins.”

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