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GROWTH-CAUSING TUMOR REMOVED

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An Idaho teen-ager has a chance at a longer life thanks to doctors who removed a tumor that caused him to grow to nearly 7 feet tall.

Norberto Mendoza said Friday he'll try to live a normal life after a successful operation to remove the tumor and halt his abnormal growth."I'm ready to go home and feel better," Mendoza said from his hospital bed at Loyola University Medical Center in suburban May-wood.

At 14, a brain tumor in Mendoza's growth-controlling pituitary gland caused a growth spurt. Others in his family measure well under 6 feet tall, but he has grown to 6 feet, 10 inches, with size 18 shoes, at age 17.

Doctors in Idaho tried radiation treatment and surgery three times in the past year to remove the tumor and stop the abnormal growth, to no avail. They had given the teen about a year to live.

The tumor formed when Mendoza was a child but went undiagnosed until last year.