Man With Tumor for Face Braves Surgery

"His entire jaw structure appears to be involved, with much or all of the bone being replaced by tumor. Bone grafts could not survive in that environment," he says. "Even after resection, the residual tumor will continue to grow and as there is elasticity in that type of skin it will sag again and require periodic redoing."

Brody adds that Huang will face a significant risk of any residual tumor tissue becoming malignant, potentially leading to life-threatening cancer.

But considering the profound impact that the tumors have already had on Huang's life, these additional challenges may seem par for the course.

The growth caused him to isolate himself from society. According to wire reports, the condition brought about bullying from his classmates early on, forcing him to leave school at the age of 10 -- and as his condition worsened, even the simple act of speaking became difficult.

Huang reportedly told Reuters that he was even approached several years ago by someone who wished to buy him and display him as part of a circus freak show.

It is a set of challenges that those with the condition in the United States will not likely have to face. Still, Kawamoto says even milder cases of the condition pose significant challenges for sufferers.

"Early treatment will decrease the amount of deformation but will not cure the disease," he says. "There is no cure. I am currently actively treating three children now. I wish the number was zero."

Reports from Reuters and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation contributed to this story.

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