A woman suffering from a rare form of tissue cancer has seen her neck and face swell to several times larger than that of the average person.
The unnamed Chinese woman, who is thought to be suffering from neuroblastoma, has reportedly been living in near isolation for several decades together with her elderly mother.
The cancer forms in certain nerve tissues and has caused her neck and face to bloat since an early age.
With no money to treat the condition, the lumps in her adrenal glands have been allowed to develop unchecked.
Footage released online by volunteers of a non-governmental organisation show a recent visit to the woman’s home, where they tried to understand how she has been surviving with neuroblastoma.
The disease could also have been inherited from one of her parents, studies show, but without a proper diagnosis the full scope of the woman’s condition remains unclear.
In the clip, the woman and her mother explain that they have been living off their local village’s subsidies – and that she is still able to eat despite the serious swelling.
The money, however, is nowhere near enough to get her treatment, which – depending on the severity of the illness – could include surgery or radiation.
Members of the NGO say she may need to receive treatment abroad if she is beyond the help of doctors in China.
Even if she does receive the necessary funding for treatment, the woman has not said explicitly that she would take up the option.