Our son was first diagnosed with Rhabdomysarcoma in 2006. He was six years old. Up to that point he had been a healthy child and so the doctors initially thought he had tonsillitis. Rhabdomyosarcoma is very aggressive soft tissue cancer and was allowed to grow in his sinus cavity, unchecked, for many months. Eventually his symptoms of nasal discharge and breathing problems became so severe that he had a CT scan at our local hospital. The scan showed the “mass” attached to his soft palate. He then went to Great Ormond Street Hospital for further tests and a biopsy, and that confirmed Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Following that diagnosis he started treatment immediately, and after 12 months of chemotherapy and six weeks radiotherapy he was in remission.
In 2014 however, he had a painful lump develop on his cheek. He was still having regular checks at Great Ormond Street and being monitored for late side effects. In view of his past history, there was no delay in organising a scan. The doctors had already warned us that it was likely he had another tumour. He had a biopsy and was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Steven needed more chemotherapy and many hours of surgery before he went into remission again.
The Osteosarcoma was caused by the radiotherapy he had for the first tumour.
This is just a brief outline of our son’s story. We shall look at it in more detail later.
If you would tell us about your child’s cancer, or you are a childhood cancer survivor, please get in touch and we would be very happy to give you a feature on our blog and later on the radio channel.
Ziggy Zoo and Betty Too