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August 1, 1977

Giant Ameloblastomas

JAMA. 1977;238(5):418-420. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280050058022

TUMORS of the jaw rarely go untreated for many years in the United States. This is not so in parts of Asia and Africa, where medical facilities are woefully inadequate and where folk medicine is practiced extensively. One of us (V. B. R.), as director of a 140-bed mission hospital in Central Africa, has treated two huge ameloblastomas during the past two years. They are reported because of their unusual size and their rarity in the Western world.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  A man estimated to be 25 years old was admitted to the Good Shepherd Hospital (Hôpital du Bon Berger), Tshikaji, Kananga, Zaire, in May 1975. Progressive malnutrition had been noted at a mission food distribution center, and he had been persuaded to visit the mission hospital for treatment of a large tumor of the lower jaw that prevented chewing and made swallowing difficult (Fig 1). The patient