A man who has a massive 33lb tumour growing from his face has turned down offers to join a ‘freak show’.
Huang Chuncai, 39, is known as ‘China‘s Elephant Man’ and has been the subject of medical studies and documentaries over the years.
Doctors have diagnosed him with neurofibromatosis – the name for a number of genetic conditions that cause swellings or lumps.
And he is believed to be suffering from the world’s worst known case of the condition, experts say.
Despite having had four attempts to remove the enormous growth, he still has the huge growth on his face.
His first surgery was in 2007, but he has undergone three more in recent years through the help of donations.
The procedures helped to reduce what was and still is the record for the world’s biggest facial tumour.
But his appearance still stops him from venturing out into public.
Local reports suggest that his growths appear to be slowly developing once more.
But for the moment he is able to lead a relatively normal life and has continued to decline offers to show him off as some sort of ‘monster’.
He first developed a facial tumour when Huang, from a rural area of central China, was just four years old.
Endless ridicule from other children caused him to drop out after just a few years in education.
He now lives with his parents and siblings, who have become accustomed to his appearance.
Despite his nickname, Huang does not suffer from the disorder associated with the original Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick.
Mr Merrick was thought to have had Proteus syndrome – a condition which involves symptoms such as abnormal growth of the bones, skin and head.
Neurofibromatosis is the name for a number of genetic conditions that cause swellings or lumps.
Although many people who have the condition inherit it from one of their parents, up to 50 per cent develop it randomly from a gene mutation before they are born.
Despite their alarming appearance, the growths and swellings – called neurofibromas and caused by a growth of cells – are not cancerous or contagious.
The condition has long been associated with the ‘Elephant Man,’ the name given to Joseph Carey Merrick, who was severely disfigured.
However, in 1986, a new theory emerged that Mr Merrick may actually have had Proteus syndrome, a condition which involves symptoms such as abnormal growth of the bones, skin and head.
The confusion was again compounded in 2001 when it was proposed that he had suffered from a combination of neurofibromatosis type one (NF1) and Proteus syndrome.
However, DNA tests on his hair and bones have proven inconclusive.