Mumbai: Doctors treat leukaemia survivor for rare chemotherapy side effect

Although the 16-year-old girl bravely overcame her fight against cancer, she was struck with a condition which impairs the hip of a person with chronic pain. Annually, out of 25,000 patients diagnosed with leukaemia in India, 5 to 10% develop the disease

Mumbai: Doctors treat leukaemia survivor for rare chemotherapy side effect
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  • A leukaemia survivor from Kolhapur was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called Avascular Necrosis of the Hip (AVN) that affects cancer patients during chemotherapy or as an after effect.
  • According to her doctors at PD Hinduja, the 16-year-old girl successfully underwent cancer treatment at Tata Hospital and then referred to them for treatment of this rare disease.

Dr Sanjay Agarwala, medical director of P.D. Hinduja hospital and orthopaedic surgeon who treated the girl, said, “Young people in their prime of life are struck by this debilitating disease. Surviving leukaemia and drugs still leaves them an inability to walk without pain and be pushed into another cycle of misery, invariably leading to hip replacement surgery in an early phase of their lives and possibly two further revisions, i.e. 3 surgical replacements on the affected hip. Our algorithm offers arrest of the disease process.”

P.D. Hinduja Hospital began treating this rare disease since 2009, and as of today, has received only 20 such patients suffering from it.

“Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply, leading to tiny breaks in the bone and the bone’s eventual collapse. The disease renders the affected person completely immobile and incapable of carrying out day to day activities,” explained Dr Agarwala.

Data suggests that the disease is known to affect a younger population, roughly between the ages of 13 to 25. Annually, out of 25,000 patients diagnosed with leukaemia in India, 5 to 10% develop the disease.

Previously, the only available treatment for AVN was hip replacement surgery, however, with advancement; medication became an equally effective form of treatment.

The biggest drawback of hip replacement surgery is the complications that can arise, such as the durability of the replaced hip – the younger the patient, the more number of surgeries they will have to undergo in their lifetime.”