Woman has watermelon-sized tumour removed

Neighbours called her 'the monster'

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A woman who carried a watermelon-sized tumour on her back for almost four decades has revealed how her terrified neighbours called her 'the monster,' shunning her and keeping their children away.

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Mariette, who asked to be known only by her first name, initially noticed a growth on the left side of her back around 40 years ago, when she was in her 20s.

By the time she reached her early sixties, the growth spanned around 20 inches in length and weighed 10lb – heavier than most newborn babies.