Health & Fitness

Mum left with huge dent in her head after partner spotted ‘something different’ about her

WHEN Barbora Hjkov’s partner said she ‘looked a little different’, she brushed off his concerns.

The 38-year-old had a lump at the side of her head which her partner Ilja, 41, said had changed her face.

Barbora Hjkov’s partner Ilja first noticed there was something wrong with his girlfriend’s face

After extensive checks, she was told she had a rare cancer and that she would need to have part of her skull removed[/caption]


Now she has been left with a hole in her head and is learning to embrace the change[/caption]

He finally convinced the mum-of-two to go and see a medic and after extensive tests, it was found she had Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP).

She had to have the tumour removed and afterwards, her 15-month-old daughter Margaret didn’t recognise her due to the change.

DFSP is a rare type of skin cancer which often looks or feels like a pimple under the skin, Sarcoma UK states.

It can affect people of all ages, but is most common in those between the ages of 20 and 50.

When Barbora, who lives in the Czech Republic, first went to her doctor, she was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist.

She was then sent for a sonogram and biopsy which revealed the condition.

The tumour had spread to her skull, with medics telling her that she was one of an estimated seven people worldwide who had the condition in the skull.

She now says that if it weren’t for her boyfriend, then she would have never gone to her doctor.

“I have to say that I was slightly annoyed by the examinations and I didn’t want to go anywhere else, as I was convinced that there was nothing wrong with me and that I had a fatty lump on my head at most.

“However, the sonogram showed that it probably wasn’t that trivial, so I was sent for a biopsy.

“At this point, I was getting slightly anxious, but I wasn’t imagining any horror scenarios.

“The wait was uncomfortable, but even more uncomfortable were the results: Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans.

“The doctor told me it was great news and to celebrate. I was honestly overjoyed. It sounds strange now that I think back on it.”

Barbora said she thought she would just have to go in under general anaesthetic to have the lump removed.

However, she was shocked when the surgeon called her personally to tell her that they would need to remove part of her skull.

The symptoms of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) you need to know

GUIDANCE from Sarcoma UK states that DFSP tends to grow slowly and only rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

The charity states that it can appear as:

  • a slow growing, painless lump under the skin
  • a scar or a deep seated pimple
  • a lump with the skin over it feeling soft and indented
  • pink to brown in colour and sometimes may appear in shades of purple

If DFSP is left for several years, it can grow through the top layer of skin and develop into an ulcer, they added.

“The doctor told me, ‘if you had it on a limb, for example, it would be optimal to treat it by amputation, but we simply cannot amputate your head!’

“I couldn’t sleep at night.

“It wasn’t entirely clear what they would have to cut out of my head and how much the tumour had burrowed into my skull. All this would only become apparent during the operation,” she said.

The operation left her with a hole in her head, which she was initially devastated about.

But now she says she has learnt to embrace her scars and has taken part in campaigns to raise awareness of the cancer.

“Apart from the pain in my head and the rest of my body after the surgery, I was not completely fine mentally,” Babora said.

“I was still waiting for the pathology results and was tense for several weeks.

“Margaret hugged me for the first time a week after the operation. Until then, she was afraid of me.

“I have to admit that I didn’t look much like me with the swollen head, bruises and bandages.”

Now, Barbora said she is doing really well and is no longer bothered that her head is no longer completely round.

“I didn’t have to undergo any further cancer treatment after the surgery.

“The surgery was a very radical solution and I am under a lot of scrutiny from the doctors as this monster tends to come back.

“Time is very precious to me and I don’t want to waste it.

“I work as a PR specialist for the F*** Cancer project, which aims to raise awareness and help cancer patients, and I am also involved in other health awareness projects.

“This experience has given me patience, a new perspective on the world and on life values, and a feeling that I really have something to fight for.

“But most of all I’m grateful for the fact that I am healthy and I can live my life, which I don’t intend to waste,” she said.

Source of data and images: thesun

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