Diagnosis delay: 8-yr-old's cancer treated with painkillers for 2 months
An eight-year-old Jogeshwari boy with a cancerous growth in the chest was treated with painkillers for two months, even as the tumour grew in size. The boy is now recuperating after a surgery to remove the tumour.mumbai Updated: Jan 16, 2015 13:36 IST
An eight-year-old Jogeshwari boy with a cancerous growth in the chest was treated with painkillers for two months, even as the tumour grew in size. The boy is now recuperating after a surgery to remove the tumour.
“I thought he was just complaining, like children do. Every time, we would take him to a doctor and he would be fine after taking some painkillers,” said Fatima, the mother of the boy Ameen.
However, when the child continued to complain of mild pain, their doctor advised an X-ray investigation, which showed some abnormality. A series of tests later, the family learnt their son had a 9-centimeter tumour weighing 1.5 kilograms in his chest, which could also be cancerous.
“We could not accept that our son could have tumour. We visited many doctors, who all confirmed the tumour but said operating on him could be a risk to his life,” said Rafeeq, Ameen’s father, who works as a carpenter.
When the family approached doctors at Saifee Hospital, Charni Road, the team of surgeons decided to operate on Ameen despite all odds.
The biopsy of the tumour confirmed the family’s worst fears – the mass in their son’s body was cancerous.
“Within just two months, the size of the tumour had doubled and it had enveloped the heart and lungs. The tumour had pushed the heart to the left, making the surgery extremely challenging,” said Dr Anil Sanganeria, surgical oncologist who led the team that operated on the boy.
“Operation, though dangerous, was the only hope for Ameen. Instead of carving the entire tumour out, we removed it gradually, as there was not even a centimetre’s space between the tumour and the heart,” he said.
Though doctors were successful in removing the large tumour, which is classified as primitive neuro ectodermal tumour in scientific literature, Ameen has a long road to recovery.
“The tumour was aggressive, the way it had grown dramatically. The tumour had occupied almost 70% of his chest. Ameen will require chemotherapy,” said Sanganeria.
Still a long road to recovery
Ameen’s tumour, 9 centimetre and weighing 1.5kilograms, had covered his heart and lungs. It had pushed the heart to the left, making the surgery extremely challenging Dr
Anil Sanganeria, the surgical oncologist who led the team that operated on the boy, said instead of carving the entire tumour out, they had to chip away at it gradually, as it there was not even a centimetre’s space between the tumour and the heart
Though the tumour has been removed, Ameen has not been cured yet, and will require chemotherapy, doctors said.
Recovery rate in kids high: Doctors
* Doctors say that 30% cancers in children are solid cancers
* Among all solid cancers reported among children, primitive neuro ectodermal tumour, the type of cancer Ameen was diagnosed with, is found only in two to three percent of cases
* Doctors claimed the huge size of Ameen’s tumour makes it one of the rarest types of tumours
* Childhood cancers can occur suddenly, without early symptoms, and have a high rate of cure, said doctors.