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Mark Ruffalo health: Hulk actor was 'afraid to die' undergoing surgery for his tumour

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In 2001, Mark Ruffalo grabbed the attention of the on-set doctor for a film he was working on. He told the doctor he had recently dreamt about having a brain tumour and wanted to get checked. Her response was “you are crazy” although she still proceeded to book him a CT scan. A day later the star received a diagnosis that changed his life.

The day after a chat with the on-set doctor, Ruffalo was sent to a neurologist who gave him a CT scan.

An hour after the scan, while waiting in the neurologist’s hospital room with his doctor, the nurse came in and asked Ruffalo’s doctor to have a chat outside the room with them.

In an interview with the Acoustic Neuroma association, he said: “I could hear some murmurings in the room next door and she came in and she was white as a sheet and she sat down and she said `you have a mass behind your left ear the size of a golf ball’.”

Ruffalo, 34 at the time, was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma in 2001, a benign brain tumour that slowly grows on the nerve used for hearing and balance.

In the UK, acoustic neuroma is rare, affecting approximately 2 per 100,000 according to the British Acoustic Neuroma association.

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Its symptoms include hearing loss affecting only one ear, hearing loss from inside the body, known as tinnitus, and vertigo, according to the NHS.

Ruffalo’s tumour had grown on his facial nerve responsible for controlling the muscles in the face.

The star had to undergo surgery just four weeks after his diagnosis to remove the tumour, which he was terrified about.

In the past Ruffalo had a “bad reaction” to anaesthesia.

“I’d had surgery in the past and had a really bad reaction to the anesthesia anyway I was honestly afraid to die was my biggest fear,” he said.

But anaesthesia wasn’t the only thing Ruffalo was worried about. Before surgery he was told he had an 80 percent chance of losing the hearing in his left ear and 20 percent chance of losing his facial nerve.

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“The first day [after surgery], you know, I was just out of it and then the second day they came in they’re checking my face, and my face began to go paralyzed… so by the third day and fourth day out from the surgery I couldn’t close my eye and I couldn’t move my face on the left side of my face… and that was pretty alarming.”

For the next ten months, Ruffalo went through an emotional recovery from his paralysis which involved him trying out a variety of different therapies, including acupuncture and sacral cranial therapy.

By the tenth month his face started to back, which he was surprised about because it had been so long.

According to the NHS, the other symptoms of an large acoustic neuroma may be:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Temporary blurred or double vision
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the face
  • Problems with limb coordination
  • A hoarse voice or difficulty swallowing.

As well as brain surgery, the other treatment options include monitoring the tumour if it is small.

Small tumours may also be treated by stereotactic radiosurgery, which involves a precise beam of radiation targeting the tumour to prevent it growing bigger.

Large tumours may lead to a complication called hydrocephalus.

According to Mayo clinic, this is a buildup of fluid inside cavities deep within the brain known as ventricles.

This can put pressure on the brain which can result in “intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities”.



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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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High cholesterol: Blood pressure drug linked to significant reduction in good cholesterol

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“Though they’re commonly used to treat different forms of heart disease, beta-blockers can significantly reduce HDL levels.”

Among the beta-blockers that cause this are Corgard (nadolol), Inderal (propranolol), Tenormin (atenolol), Zebeta (bisoprolol).

These drugs are widely used in the treatment of angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack and high blood pressure.

But despite concerns about their effect on cholesterol, scientists stress that the benefits of beta-blockers far outweigh the risks.

VeryWell Health adds: “If your beta-blocker affects your cholesterol significantly, your doctor may lower your dose or switch you to a different medication.”



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Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez not on same page over Saudi Arabia GP after missile attack

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However, after a four-hour meeting between race officials and the teams, it was confirmed the race would go ahead despite the attack. It had been reported that a number of the competing drivers were concerned for their safety following the nearby explosion.

Despite this, an agreement was finally reached to race at 2:30am local time, after team chiefs left the lengthy meeting to confirm: “We will be racing.” A statement from Formula 1 confirmed Sunday’s race would go ahead as planned. It read: “Formula 1 has been in close contact with the relevant authorities following the situation that took place today. The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation.”

Unsurprisingly, there were a number of mixed views on whether the race should go ahead, and this is clearly apparent in the Red Bull setup. This comes after advisor Helmut Marko revealed that drivers Verstappen and Perez are not on the same page when it comes to racing.

JUST IN: F1 drivers ‘had concerns’ about Saudi Arabia GP as new details emerge after missile attack

On the issue, Marko told Sky Germany: “Max is a bit more relaxed about it. Perez is a little bit scared, but when you live in Mexico City there’s not much more security. We have the pandemic, we have the war in Europe and now we have a missile attack 20 kilometres away. This is no longer normal or pleasant.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s race though, the Austrian advisor is firmly on the side of Verstappen and the race officials, supporting the idea of the race taking place. He commented: “I really think it’s the right thing to do. As I said, these drone attacks are common, I think. They have a very good defence system. Why this one didn’t work remains to be seen. It’s not the first drone, after all. But it’s the first one to strike on such a scale.”

The attack took place during Friday’s first practice session, and it was Red Bull’s star man Verstappen who was one of the first to realise something was wrong after reporting on his team radio that he could ‘smell burning’. Initially, the Dutchman thought the smell was coming from either his or one of his rival’s cars, however it then became clear that an explosion had taken place just a few miles from the track.

Giving an insight into Verstappen’s initial worries, Marko said: “Max radioed us, he thought his car had caught fire because there was an intense burning smell. We were informed a drone had been sent from Yemen. The Saudis have a defence system and for some reason the drone was not intercepted.”



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