For thirty years, she has lived a normal life with no complications, until recently, when doctors in Kolkata diagnosed her with a very rare condition that can be found in one out of 22,000 people. While treating her for abdominal pain, doctors found that she was a “man” suffering from testicular cancer.
Surprisingly, her 28-year-old sister, who underwent necessary tests following the revelation, was also diagnosed with “Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome” — a condition in which a person is genetically male but has all physical traits of a woman.
The 30-year-old woman, who is a resident of Bengal’s Birbhum and has been married for the last nine years, had visited the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Hospital in Kolkata with severe pain in lower the abdomen a couple of months ago. Dr Anupam Dutta and Dr Soumen Das conducted her medical tests and found her “true identity” during treatment.
“From her appearance, she is a woman – starting from her voice, developed breasts, normal external genitalia. However, the uterus and ovaries have been absent since birth. She has also never experienced menstruation,” Dr Dutta told PTI.
“We conducted clinical examinations, after she complained of abdominal pain, and found out she has testicles inside her body. A biopsy was conducted, following which she was diagnosed with testicular cancer, also called seminoma, Dr Dutta explained.
Currently, she is undergoing chemotheraphy and her health condition is stable.
“As her testicles remained undeveloped inside the body, there was no secretion of testosterone. Her female hormones, on the other hand, gave the appearance of a woman,” Dr Dutta said.
Asked about her reaction to the revelation, he said, “The person has grown up to be a woman. She is married to man for almost a decade. Currently, we are counselling the patient and her husband, advising them to continue living life as they have been.”
In the past, the couple had tried to conceive a number of times but failed. The patient’s two maternal aunts have also been diagnosed with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome in the past, the oncologist said.
“It’s probably in the genes. We have come to know that two of her aunts from the maternal side were also suffering from similar condition,” he added.
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