Bengaluru: Seventeen-year-old Nadeem (name changed), who hails from Shivamogga, had completed his higher secondary exams when he started complaining of severe pain and swelling in his left knee. He was finding it difficult to even walk.
Nadeem’s parents ignored it, thinking it was a normal pain. But when Nadeem continued to complain even after a couple of months, they decided to take him to a hospital.
“I suffered from pain and swelling for one-and-a-half months before my parents took me to a local hospital in Shivamogga. After seeing the X-ray, the doctor told us that it was not a bone problem and referred me to a private hospital in Bengaluru,” said Nadeem.
His father worked as a vendor and struggled to earn even Rs 200 per day, while his twin brother had started working at a small garage. “We did not even have enough money to go to Bengaluru, and how could we even think of getting the treatment done at a hospital there? Somehow we managed to reach Bengaluru and see the doctor,” Nadeem said.
Dr Suman Byregowda at Narayana Health City, to whom Nadeem was referred, said, “We got a simple X-ray of the knee done and it showed changes in his thigh bone which was indicative of an aggressive bone cancer. To further confirm the diagnosis, we did an MRI of the knee and performed simple trucut needle biopsy for accurate diagnosis.”
The biopsy revealed that Nadeem was suffering from a high-grade bone cancer called osteosarcoma, which had affected his thigh (femur) bone. “He had a swelling and excruciating pain around the knee joint, because of which he was unable to walk. Painkillers too were of no help,” he said.
After evaluation, Dr Byregowda and Dr Mansi Khanderia, a Consultant-Medical Oncologist, along with a team, advised Nadeem to undergo chemotherapy thrice and then a surgery, followed by three chemotherapy sessions again. “I told the doctor about our financial condition and he informed us about Milaap, a social fundraising orgainsation, which came as a blessing to us. Within no time, we could raise money for my surgery," said Nadeem.
“It was unfortunate that he had this deadly disease at a young age that God had given him and the God himself showed the way for cure. We are very happy to see him walking. This was possible with the help of Milaap and the doctors at Narayana Health City,” said Nadeem’s father.
Dr Byregowda said, “It is a myth that cancer spreads with biopsy. A biopsy is necessary to know the exact type of cancer and to treat it accordingly, because treatment of each type of cancer is different. The patient's family was poor and did not have enough funds to support the entire course of treatment. So we took the help of a government scheme, arranged money through the fundraising social organisation and we got great support from our hospital as well to complete his chemotherapy and limb-saving surgery using artificial metallic bone. This case is a classic example of how a patient's family and medical fraternity can work hand in hand for the betterment of a patient.”
Post-chemotherapy and surgery, Nadeem is able to walk now and is leading an independent life....