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Surgeons Use 3D Printed Model To Save Gran With Rare Cancerous Nose Tumor

Grandmother's life saved by 3D printed face model in rare cancer case

A gran who was diagnosed with a rare cancerous nose tumor had her life saved after surgeons 3D printed a model of her face.

Alison Hough, 59, went to her GP with cold-like symptoms after returning from holiday in Tenerife but was told she probably had a sinus infection.

A gran who was diagnosed with a rare cancerous nose tumor had her life saved after surgeons 3D printed a model of her face. SWNS

She was devastated when further tests at Royal Stoke University Hospital revealed she had a rare form of cancer and she was given only two weeks to live.

Specialists used a print of her face to plan the removal of the tumor and the reconstruction of some of her features following the operation.

The procedure was a success and the grandmother-of-five has been declared cancer free and says she is now “living her best life.”


Alison, of Audley, Staffs., said: “There is no gift I could ever give that would be enough to say thank you to them.

“They’ve given me that chance to see my grandchildren, to see my daughter get married and be there.

“I’m living my best life. I don’t feel like I need to do anything, go on holiday to Barbados, or travel the world – I’m just enjoying my life as it is.”

Mom-of-three Alison was aged 52 when she was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the nose in 2016 after she first thought she had a cold.

She added: “”It just felt like I had a cold. I thought it was down to the plane flight. Cancer never went into my mind, I just assumed I would be ok.

A gran who was diagnosed with a rare cancerous nose tumor had her life saved after surgeons 3D printed a model of her face. SWNS

“When I got home, it was a bit of a nuisance and then I ended up with one blocked nostril. I couldn’t breathe properly. I felt exhausted eating.


“I’d eat a small amount and would feel tired. I went to my GP and they diagnosed me with sinusitis and gave me antibiotics and a nasal spray.

“I kept going back to the GP and saying this isn’t getting any better.

“Eventually I got a referral for a CT scan. I just went along with things. I think I knew subconsciously it was something serious but I just didn’t let myself believe it.

“It was complete devastation. I didn’t feel angry, or ‘why me?’ I just felt terribly sad, hopeless and deflated really.”

Surgeons found the tumor had spread into the brain cavity, which made any operation even more complicated.

A 3D model was printed of her face to better understand the extent of the tumor and to help with reconstructing her features after surgery.

Alison added: “It gave me a renewed sense that I might survive. I felt positive that I’d been given the option to have an opportunity.”


Surgeon Daya Gahir said the op was challenging but successful because of the level of planning the printing allowed them to do.

Gahir, who is a head, neck and maxillofacial surgeon, said: “The factor at that point was the extent of the tumor into the brain.

“In a lot of units this would have definitely been deemed inoperable and she would have probably have been having palliative treatment.

“But we were very fortunate at the time we had the latest technology and that was 3d printing.

“We found it very beneficial. We could print a model of the face and see the extent of the tumor.”

Alison has been cancer-free since 2018 and a minor operation on her lip is all she needs to complete her treatment.

A short film was produced to highlight Alison’s life-saving surgery to help raise money for the UHNM charity, which helps fund equipment for the hospital.

She added: “The work at UHNM is absolutely amazing and I am so grateful for the care I received.”


Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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