This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
Kevin Daly was told by doctors time and time again that his belly fat was actually just a “normal” part of aging. But the 63-year-old New Jersey man listened to his body and knew something was wrong after undergoing a December 2015 heart surgery.
“This thing was growing, but my shoulders and chest had atrophied from the surgery, so it made my stomach protrude more,” Daly explained to People. “I brought it to the attention of my doctor, but [any] doctor would say the same thing — you’re in your 60’s, low testosterone, visceral fat. You’re fine; it’s just how it is.”
His cardiologist, Dr. Varinder Singh, reasoned his protruding stomach to “visceral fat,” advising Daly that the best way to shed the extra weight was by exercising and eating right. Despite losing 34 pounds over the course of two years, Daly’s protruding belly was still very much there.
He thought, “Great, I’m thrilled with all of that, except how did I lose 34 lbs. and not lose an ounce off of my stomach?”.
Even Dr. Singh seemed perplexed. “He did everything that was prescribed,” the physician said to Today’s Megyn Kelly. “He exercised, he went on a diet, and he lost a lot of weight.”
Daly visited Dr. Singh again. “But … He knew. And patients know their bodies better than anybody. And as medical professionals, we have to listen to them within reason,” Singh explained. But Singh listened to his patient, who had done everything he was told and was still uneasy.
Insurance initially didn’t want to pay for the CAT scan, but the X-ray proved the culprit. His “beer belly” was actually a 30-pound low-grade liposarcoma, which was removed by surgeons in December.
Said Daly, “For a second I was vindicated, and then I was completely panicked, because when a doctor says that you have an extremely large mass, you assume that you have a cancerous tumor growing in your stomach.”
It was the largest mass surgeon Dr. Julio Teixeira has ever removed. He said to People, “It’s important that people listen to their bodies, and are in tune with their bodies, because often, your instincts are right.”
Three months post-surgery, Daly now has his stomach back but will have to be monitored for more tumors. “I’m now up to 187, which is my college weight. It feels really, really good. It’s made me feel 35 again,” he said.