For the past 11 years, the Radiation Oncology department of SRMS IMS has treated more than 15,000 cases. It makes it one of the top healthcare options for Radiotherapy in the region ranging from Lucknow to Delhi and beyond. With wider reach come large number of patients, several of them with unique conditions. It offers doctors an opportunity to gain new experiences but it’s also a challenging proposition to treat rare cancers. Through innovative thinking and sustained efforts over the years, they endeavor to help patients win their battles against cancer. And that is what happened with this case first undertaken in 2011 that reached a happy fruition this year.
It was in 2011 that the postoperative case was referred to Radiation Oncology department by the ENT department. The biopsy report showed that the patient had a very rare tumor – mandibular osteosarcoma. Dr. Piyush Kumar Agarwal, Radiation Oncologist, Professor and HOD points out that the challenge with rare cases is that there isn’t much literature around them. “It was the tumor of the jaw and there might have been some isolated cases, so there wasn’t any literature available about it. At times like these doctors have to apply their thinking and knowledge to try and get the best results,” he adds.
Taking the crucial decision
Doctors at SRMS IMS deliberated on radiotherapy and how it would help the patient. They discussed the number of sessions that would be needed and how the treatment would be delivered in a particular instance. The decision was based on their experience and understanding of the case. The patient was treated with Radiotherapy after his operation. But the doctors had to wait for nine years to find out if their treatment had borne the results they had wanted. But their untiring efforts continued as they kept calling the patient for follow up on a regular basis for the course of nine years.
Updating the treatment when time demands
It’s important for healthcare professionals to be flexible with their approach and update their treatment strategies when the time demands. That’s exactly what the doctors at SRMS IMS did in this case. With time there was some literature available for the treatment of mandibular osteosarcoma. They realized that the patient could benefit from chemotherapy. He was then given six cycles of the treatment and asked to continue regular follow up. The doctors believe longer you wait, more chances you have to ascertain if the treatment has worked. Meanwhile, you need to keep updating your treatment methods with evolving knowledge resources.
The effort pays off
The patient’s CT scan last year seemed to be absolutely normal. But the medical team did not rejoice till April this year when the patient returned to the hospital absolutely healthy. He had a smile on his face with absolutely no complaints. Dr. Agarwal says that his team was filled with positivity seeing their patient in the best health. “Today we can proudly say that we have given him nine years and he has no problems. Now we are going to publish a case report in an International journal. We are going to present them with literature so next time there is a patient with similar case anywhere in the world, the doctors don’t have to be bewildered,” he speaks in the true spirit of making a difference.