Surgeons in India have removed what they claim is the largest brain tumor ever recorded from a man who let the cancerous mass continue to grow for two decades.

The watermelon-sized, 11-pound tumor was cut out of the 31-year-old man’s head during a 10-hour operation in the Indian city of Madurai last Thursday, SWNS reported.

The man, only identified as Sakthivel from the city of Dindigul, has lived with the growth on his head since he was a youngster and chose to ignore the mass because he was not able to afford treatment, according to the news agency.

He was also hindered in seeking medical treatment by the horrific recollection of his brother dying during surgery.

Sakthivel’s tumor grew so massive two years ago that it became difficult for him to move his neck. He became closed off socially as he struggled in his everyday life.

Finally, Sakthivel sought help and local doctors diagnosed him with the cancerous growth earlier this month.

Neurosurgeon J. Srisaravanan led a six-man team in operating on Sakthivel to remove the tumor that was “almost equal size to his head,” according to SWNS.

The complicated surgery required a 10-pint blood transfusion.

“The patient came to our hospital in the second week of May with a huge growth on his head and restrictions of neck movement,” Srisaravanan told SWNS.

“Also, he had social inhibitions due to the large swelling and didn’t want to meet people,” the doctor said, adding, “The tumor was almost equal in size to his head. I had never come across such a big tumor in the head in my career of 15 years in neurosurgery.”

Sakthivel is still recovering from the surgery and is “doing fine,” according to Srisaravanan.

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