Innovative cancer surgery was successfully performed at the MPCT Hospital, the best cancer hospital in Mumbai, to avoid the amputation of the left leg of a young patient. Doctors surgically removed the cancerous part of the left femur bone of Anuj Santosh Santhan, a ten-year-old boy, exposed it to high dosage radiation, and then fixed it back.
The boy, a class 5 student, is a resident of Nashik. He underwent as many as two chemotherapy sessions at a Nashik private hospital, following the diagnosis of femur osteosarcoma in his left femur in June. Anuj was sent to the Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, for the removal of the tumor. There he was asked to undergo two more chemotherapy sessions. Doctors advised Santosh and Suvarna, his parents, that the surgery can be done after three weeks. However, they were told that the waiting period was two months. A family friend referred them to the MPCT Hospital, Navi Mumbai, as Anuj’s life was in danger.
The surgery called for the removal of about 15 cm of the left femur of Anuj and placing a prosthetic implant. Santosh and Suvarna were devasted when they were told that their son’s leg needs to be amputated. However, they felt relieved came when the orthopedic oncologist Dr. Mishil Parikh and radio-oncologist Dr. Rohan Salunke at the best cancer hospital in Mumbai came up with a revolutionary solution to salvage Anuj’s limb.
Dr. Parikh said that all options, including the use of a modular prosthetic, were explored. He added that the customization of the modular prosthetic was a lengthy process. Further, the cost of an expandable prosthetic, which could only be used for pediatric purposes, was around Rs. 20 lakhs to 25 lakhs. Dr. Parikh noted that this was beyond the means of Anuj’s father who was a farmer.
This prompted the two doctors to explore the possibility of removing the affected part of the left femur and subjecting it to radiation treatment outside the body in a sterile chamber. This was possible because the hospital was equipped with the machinery needed for providing advanced treatment. The doctors toiled for seven hours to complete the procedure. The affected part was subjected to a high dose of radiation in order to destroy all cancer cells. The treated part was then re-joined with the child’s leg.
Dr. Parikh said that the tumor had affected about 11 cm of the femur and the surgery was instrumental in saving the child’s limb. He also noted that the re-joined part would regrow in three months. This meant that the cost incurred was in comparison to using an artificial prosthetic limb. In addition, he noted that the chances of relapse were as low as 0.01 percent. The boy is recovering well because the blood loss was very less.
Dr. Prince Surana, MPCT Hospital CEO, said that the procedure was carried out as a charitable activity as Anuj’s parents were not in a position to afford the treatment. As the boy was young, doctors had to make sure that he had a disease-free life ahead. Anuj’s parents said that they considered the treatment as a blessing because they could not see the child’s suffering and they would not have been able to pay for the treatment.