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    Posted April 19, 2009 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Offbeat images

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    Russian Fir Tree Story = Hoax


    The following story – typically accompanied by the above image – has been published in many print and online news sources over the past several days:


    A fir tree has been found growing inside a man's lung by surgeons who were operating on him for suspected cancer. The tree, measuring 5 cm, was discovered by Russian doctors when they opened up Artyom Sidorkin, 28, to remove what they thought was a tumour. Medical staff believe that Mr Sidorkin somehow inhaled a seed, which later sprouted into a small fir tree inside his lung. The patient had complained of extreme pain in his chest and had been coughing up blood. Doctors were convinced he had cancer. 'We were 100 percent sure,' said surgeon Vladimir Kamashev from Izhevsk in the Urals. 'We did X-rays and found what looked exactly like a tumour. I had seen hundreds before, so we decided on surgery.'


    The only problem is that it’s completely false. In addition to the described fir tree (green arrow), the x-ray also includes the patient’s left shoulder. Note that the growth plate (red arrow) is still clearly open, indicating that this is the chest x-ray of someone no older than his or her teens, clearly not that of a 28-year-old man. Nice try, but you can't fool the Cue every day!

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