WARNING: may i take a moment to warn anyone of a sensitive disposition (or those who are eating!) that it may be better to avoid this post….
i wondered what medical science would have to say about this brainchild concept, and this is what my research showed up…
TERATOMA: from classical greek, meaning ‘monstrous tumour‘.
simply put, a teratoma is an encapsulated tumour which contains tissue or organ components. these tissues may be quite different from the surrounding tissues, and have been known to contain hair, teeth, bone, and on rare occasions more complex organs such as eyes or limbs.
there are 2 rare forms of this condition:
fetus in fetu and fetiform teratoma.
in these cases, the cyst contains tissue components which resemble a malformed foetus. both may contain partial/complete organ systems, even major body parts such as torso or limbs. however, fetus in fetu differs in that it has an apparent spine and bilateral symmetry.
the popular medical interpretation of fetus in fetu is as a congenital complication, whereupon one foetus begins growing within it’s twin. however, without the appropriate in utero conditions, a fetus in fetu cannot develop to physical maturity. there are reported cases of mature teratome which contain partially developed organ systems, cranial bones, and a rudimentary beating heart.
a fetus in fetu can be considered alive only in a very limited sense, as it’s blood supply for tissue and organs are provided directly by it’s host. additionally, all cases of fetus in fetu present critical defects, such as no functional brain, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, or urinary tract.
fascinating stuff. no?
well here’s a little more…
in 2008, a 3day old baby [sam esquibel] received brain surgery to remove a tumour which was picked by an MRI scan. but when the surgeon operated, this is what he found…
the surgeon removed a foot, a partially formed hand, a thigh and a second, but partially-formed foot. read the story here [link]. for dramatic purposes, please let me restate this fact:
these bodyparts were removed from the brain of a newborn baby!
ADDITIONAL NOTE [17 march 2012]
as far as i am aware, all of the above information is factually correct. there are other posts on this blog that discuss a foetus growing within a person’s brain – but they relate to a university project i am currently undertaking.
so, if you arrived at this blog looking for answers to genuine medical questions relating to cysts, then you’d probably be better looking for further information elsewhere, as i’m all out of facts for you.
however, maybe it was a morbid fascination with the human body that brought you here… perhaps the idea that a cyst could grow within the human body, which contained hairs and teeth? or maybe you were curious about a congenital disorder which results in one twin’s foetus being absorbed into the body of another? if it was something like this, then you may enjoy more of this blog.
i am telling the fictitious tale of a sideshow exhibit from the late 1800s - known as Rachel & Baby Rosie.
in this carnival attraction, the decapitated head of a girl named Rachel was on display in a glass case. however, not only was she decapitated, but the top of her skull had been sawn off.
normally, inspection of the inner cranium would reveal a brain, but not in her case. oh no, inside this poor girl’s head was a foetus; a true brainchild!
the unborn child turned out to be a girl, and she was given the name, Rosie.
the rest of this blog discusses my efforts to organise a small exhibition using this carnival attraction as a central artefact. i look into the history of the macabre artefact, and also investigate other accounts of this brainchild phenomena.
let me restate: the head mentioned in this addendum is an item i have constructed myself. the backstory of this head is a fictional story. the exhibition i am putting on is part of a graded module within my degree course.