To add to the challenge, there are very few doctors with expertise in working on this rare condition.
“It is kind of frightening to hear that you have got this super rare, you know weird cancer that nobody has seen,” Mangan told the outlet.
Amid the pandemic in November last year, Mangan was working from home when he suddenly fainted. He tried to ignore it, but his wife insisted that he should visit a doctor.
The doctors noticed fluid around his heart, which led the team to find a rare cancerous tumor. His treatment started almost two weeks later.
Mangan underwent six rounds of chemo in Kingston before he proceeded to Toronto for the surgery. He said that several doctors in Kingston had admitted that many of them go their whole careers without coming across a patient with a condition similar to his, according to the report.
Fortunately, a Toronto General Hospital cardiac surgeon, Dr. Robert James Cusimano, was available to help Mangan.
On May 5, Cusimano performed the rare surgery to remove the tumor and rebuild Mangan’s heart.
Cusimano removed and rebuilt “probably about a quarter of his heart,” including a heart valve, blood vessels leading out of the heart, and the base of the heart; and did a bypass surgery on him, according to CTV News.
Mangan has since been back home and is now in recovery.
“I’m very, very happy,” he told the Global News. “It’s a thrill to be home … to be home with your kids.”
Recognizing the life-saving value of such surgical procedures, Cusimano runs an advocacy campaign to address the shortage of cardiac surgeons worldwide.
Once every year, he conducts a cardiac tumor conference to raise awareness on the different aspects of cancerous tumors. He says these conferences are a great way to “bring people together and spread knowledge.”
While Mangan is recovering well and enjoying the warm weather with his family, Cusimano is aiming at starting an international cardiac tumor registry to support patients.