City docs treat a rare tumour, save 24-yr-oldDr. Mangesh Mekha
Buldhana girl’s shoulder pain turned out to be mass in bone; she got cancer-free in 3 months
After suffering from an ever increasing pain in her right shoulder joint for over a year, 24-year-old Rekha of Khamgaon, Buldhana, and her family were at their wit’s end. Treatments from local medicos nearby had involved simple analgesics (painkillers) for a while, but the relief was nowhere near long-lasting, leaving the young girl battling with the debilitating ache once again.
Various doctors conducted screening tests on Rekha. Finally suspecting an internal injury in her shoulder from an accident at a young age – for this, she was put on long term medication. But the pain became such that the family decided to seek recourse with experts in Pune around July.
Here, the diagnosis shocked them – a rare bone tumour. But, all was not lost, as a team of doctors from Jahangir Hospital explained.”We first conducted an X-ray and MRI of Rekha’s shoulder, which showed a mass in her right humerus (the long bone in the arm or forelimb from shoulder to elbow). A biopsy then revealed an anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) of the right humerus.”
A lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer, categorised into hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) and Non-Hodgin’s Lymphoma (NHL). It occurs when immune system cells or lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, grow and multiply uncontrollably. Cancerous lymphocytes can travel to many body parts, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood, or other organs, and form a mass called a tumour. ALCL is a rarer phenomenon, comprising around one per cent of all NHLs.
Dr. Mekha added, “After the tumour was diagnosed, other screening tests like a PET CT Scan and bone marrow biopsy were done to see if the cancer had spread to the bone marrow. Rekha was immediately put on medication with chemotherapy. after the first session in July, the pain decreased.” Rekha completed three cycles of chemotherapy in August, and was once again taken for a PET CT Scan, only to show a regression of the mass in the humerus with with an 80 per cent cure from the disease.” The treatment was continued and finally, after six chemotherapy cycles another PET CT scan was done. In the third week of September, which showed a 100 per cent cure. She was then discharged,” said Mekha.
Elated by the development, Rekha’s brother, who preferred to stay unnamed, told Mirror.”Doctors in Buldhana told us the reason behind the shoulder pain was possibly the accident my sister had in Class XI. She was screened and one doctor even said she has an internal injury in her shoulder, for which she was given medication for three months. The pain, however, just increased. Fed up, we landed up in Pune, at Jahangir Hospital. We are all extremely happy that my sister was saved from such a life-threatening tumour.”
Offering an expert opinion, Manish Jain, Senior oncologist at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, said, “Many patients newly diagnosed with systemic ALCL respond well to common first-line chemotherapy regimens, like CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincridtine, and prednisone), though long-term outcome various based on the subtype and other factors. Patients with ALK-positive disease usually respond well to CHOP or CHOEP (CHOP plus etoposide). In contrast, patients with ALK- negative disease have slightly lower survival rates with similar treatments. In some circumstances, higher doses of chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplantation may be prescribed”
Source: Pune Mirror