Health News

Evil Twin Found In Woman’s Brain


Yamini Karanam, a PhD student at Indiana University’s School of Informatics, suddenly started having trouble in school. The once brilliant student was finding it difficult to understand basic information or to communicate with friends and colleagues. She wrote in her blog: “Then came the headaches.”

Then came the headaches. Slips and misses at work followed (…) There were doctors. First, a couple of them and then more.

The doctors found what they believed was a cyst on Karanam’s pineal gland, a small oval shaped structure located deep in the center of the brain. She visited more doctors to figure out what to do, but neurosurgeons hesitated to operate because they said the location of the tumor posed a lot of risks for surgery. She wrote in her diary “The fear didn’t sink in yet.”

The fear didn’t sink in yet (…) [My] will was undeterred because it was hardly put to test. [My] energy levels were sinking and fatigue started crippling [my] days. (…)  Months and weeks slipped through [my] fingers. There weren’t any diagnostic procedures left to run on [me]. Consultations followed procedures but nobody said anything useful. It was like white noise passed from the doctor to the patient to the support system. Now, they called it a tumor and that’s all 21st century medicine could do in three months.

According to CBS News, Karanam found Dr. Hrayr Shahinian, at the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles, who specializes in a minimally invasive technique for extracting tumors from deep within the brain. In the procedure known as “keyhole surgery,” a small incision is made in the back of the head through which a surgeon inserts an endoscope to reach deep within the brain and extract the tumor.

When Karanam awoke, she discovered that the mass in her brain was a teratoma: a tumor made up of different types of tissue that oftentimes contain hair, teeth and bone. While their origins are not entirely clear, some experts believe teratomas may arise when cells of an embryonic twin are absorbed into a the body of a developing fetus.

Karanam lightheartedly told NBC Los Angeles that the tumor was her “evil twin sister.”

evil twin sister who’s been torturing me for the past 26 years.

In other cancer related news, a new cancer drug has shown the ability to improve Hodgkin’s lymphoma remission rates by 87 percent.

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