California Man Thought 77-Pound Tumor Was 'Just Fat'

Courtesy: Keck Medicine of USC
Courtesy: Keck Medicine of USC

He had the tumor removed during a six-hour surgery.

What a California man thought was "just fat" was actually a 77-pound tumor. 

Hector Hernandez, 47, didn’t focus on the fact that he was gaining weight until he started exercising and it wouldn’t come off.

His friends teased him and dubbed his stomach a "beer belly," but Hernandez doesn't drink beer.

Hernandez told The Washington Post that he finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a type of cancer, retroperitoneal liposarcoma, which is found in the fat cells “at the back of the abdomen.”

“I had a lot of support and prayers from family and friends,” he told the paper. “I finally left it in God’s hands.” 

Hernandez had a six-hour surgery at the University of Southern California to remove the giant mass. 

Dr. William Tseng, who performed the surgery, said it was the biggest mass he’d ever encountered. 

“It’s standard in surgical oncology to take a cancerous mass out whole, but a large tumor will almost certainly be in contact with other important organs and sometimes major blood vessels,” Tseng said in a press release. “The question then becomes whether these also need to be removed.”

Fortunately for Hernandez, the mass was fairly easy to remove from his body — only a damaged kidney had to come out as well, the Post reported.

"I was really lucky," Hernandez said.