Tanya reveals her tumor is 'as big as a ping pong ball'

Top News | Phoenix Un 25 Apr 2019

Legislator Tanya Chan disclosed yesterday she has a tumor as big as a ping pong ball on the left side of her brain.

The 4.2cm tumor presses against her brain stem, and her doctor advised she should have surgery within two weeks.

Convicted on one count of incitement to commit public nuisance and another count of incitement to incite public nuisance, the Civic Party lawmaker was supposed to be sentenced by District Court judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng yesterday.

However, her barrister, David Ma Wai-kwan, asked Chan for an adjournment of sentence.

He submitted three documents to the court to show the medical condition of his client.

"The doctor said my client is in a life-threatening condition," Ma said. "In the doctor's opinion, Ms Chan will undergo an operation within two weeks."

Chan then approved Ma's request to put off sentencing until June 10, with her bail extended under the same terms. She is not allowed to leave Hong Kong.

After the sentencing of other convicted activists, the 47-year-old Chan told the media of her illness outside court.

She said she was prepared for jail time, and thus did a full body check on April 4 so that her mother would not worry about her health. But magnetic resonance imaging showed something in her brain.

Then she had further brain checks, after which a doctor told her last Thursday that there is a tumor a bit larger than a ping-pong ball in her brain.

"It presses against my brain stem and bends it, and also applies pressure on some brain blood vessels and nerves," she said.

Some symptoms are already showing, including dizziness, vomiting and facial paralysis, but she did not realize how serious her condition is.

She went to the doctor again on Tuesday. The doctor told her that she should have surgery as soon as possible to remove the tumor, then receive radiotherapy.

"I will only know whether the tumor is benign or malign after the surgery," she said.

She will undergo another examination by injecting radiocontrast agent into the affected area today.

She will apply for leave to Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen and go to fewer public events.

She said she would face the disease with courage: "Mum, you must have confidence in your daughter, as I can handle it."

She is not the first politician to have brain problems. Her Civic Party party colleague Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and MTR Corporation chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang also suffered from similar issues.

Eu had a brain aneurysm of 3mm diameter near her nasal bone in 2007, while Ma, the then-secretary for commerce and economic development, had a body check in 2008 and found cerebral arteriovenous malformation --a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in thebrain. He resigned, citing health concerns.

But neither required surgery.

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