Wednesday, 15 Apr, 2009 Offbeat
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Russian Doctors Removed a Fir Tree Growing Inside a Man's Lung

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Russian surgeons were amazed to discover a fir tree growing inside a patient's lung. The doctors were sure that the man had cancer since on X-ray the image was very similar to a tumor.

The discovered tree was 5cm long and it was removed when surgeons opened up the patient to extract what they initially thought was tumor. Doctors believe that the 28-year-old Artyom Sidorkin somehow inhaled a seed of the tree. This explains how the seed grew into a small fir tree inside his lung.

Before the surgery the man complained about extreme pain inside his chest. In addition, Mr. Sidorkin had been coughing up blood. The symptoms were similar to those of lung cancer.

"We were 100 per cent sure. We did X-rays and found what looked exactly like a tumour. I had seen hundreds before, so we decided on surgery," said Vladimir Kamashev, surgeon from Izhevsk, a city located in the Urals.

Prior to removing the main part of the patient's lung, the doctors investigated the tissue removed during a biopsy. They consider that the coughing of blood can be linked to the fact that the tiny pine needles pierced blood capillaries.

"It was very painful. But to be honest I did not feel any foreign object inside me. I'm so relieved it's not cancer," said Mr. Sidorkin.

Russian biologists are quite sceptical about the tree growing inside human body.

"It is absolutely impossible for a green plant to grow from this small seed inside a man's body. In order for a plant to start growing from the seed, it needs a lot of conditions - light, then water and certain temperature," outlined Olga Baranova, a university professor.

The story was published in the popular Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Gazeta.

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