2 Year Old Assamese Girl Emerges Victorious From A Tough Battle With Cancer, During The Pandemic

~Oncologists at GGHC have effectively treated over 2900 cancer cases during the pandemic which included treatment of a rare form of hard palate cancer in a 2 year old

Chennai, February, 2021: Gleneagles Global Health City (GGHC), a leading quaternary care multi-speciality centre in Chennai successfully treated a 2 year old Assamese girl who was diagnosed with a rare form of hard palate cancer by performing a surgery to remove the tumour.

This 2 year old girl from Assam was detected with a lesion in her mouth in April 2020. The lesion slowly increased in size and the family sought medical opinion at few hospitals in Assam. The parents were advised to monitor her at home. Even though the lesion was not causing any discomfort, her parents wanted to get her examined. They finally arrived at Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai in July 2020. Her condition was reviewed by the oncology team and was evaluated. To our surprise, the histopathology report was suggestive of a rare type of cancer – Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (which occurs in 3-5 cases per million in children <15 years of age). Further tests also revealed that though she was asymptomatic, her lungs and liver were involved which put her in “high risk category” and increased chances of relapse. The mortality rate in such cases have been close to 40%. She was treated initially for 6 weeks with intravenous (injectable) chemotherapy and oral steroids. Reassessment of her lesions revealed very good response to treatment. Then further 6 weeks of therapy was administered according to the protocol. Currently, she is in the recovering phase and on maintenance therapy for two years. Her lungs and liver are also stable. She is back in Assam and doing quite well. Follow up is happening with the Medical team through video consultations.

Speaking on the success of the case, Dr. S. Rajasundaram, Director of Oncology at Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai said, “Treating such a young child is extremely challenging and requires clinical expertise. We have seen many cases in the past which need to be dealt with precision. This girl was one such case that kept us on the edge of the seat after observing the complications she had. The pandemic has stirred a sense of fear in the mind of people and cancer care is no exception to that. During the pandemic, we have been highly active and have treated more than 2900 cancer cases. Along with the treatment of the 2 year old, we have also treated a 19 year old who was diagnosed with Sarcoma, an 82 year old woman who underwent a surgery for breast cancer and a 76 year old man who had oral cancer and underwent a resection procedure with grafting. These are some of the commendable surgeries that our team has performed during the pandemic.”

While commenting on this achievement, Dr. Alok Khullar, CEO – Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai, said, ““Delivering cancer treatment including Surgery during the pandemic was highly challenging as the lives of the patient and doctors was our priority. Our surgical oncology team has performed over 400 surgeries while treating a wide spectrum of cancers varying from gastro-intestinal, head & neck, thyroid, breast, uterine cancers during the pandemic. Our Global Institute of Oncology’s total OPD census in this six month alone was 2950 which included old and new patients. Off these, nearly 20% surgeries were performed to cure breast cancer. We have adhered to all international SOPs, including compulsory Covid-19 testing, for patients before they underwent surgeries. Among these surgeries, we had 4 asymptomatic Covid-19 patients who had tested positive in the pre-operative stage and were treated after their treatment of Covid-19. Our Medical Oncology department have given nearly 2000 cycles of chemotherapy in this six month and our Radiation Oncology have given radiotherapy for nearly 250 patients. All the patients were treated with tailored protocol which gave us nil mortality during the course of their treatment. The Covid – 19 pandemic did not have any impact on our success rate or alter the mortality rate. The multi-disciplinary approach of the oncology team enabled us to provide excellent clinical outcomes to patients suffering from extreme and rare forms of cancer.”