One Treatment May Stop Tumors In Tracks - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/27/05

One Treatment May Stop Tumors In Tracks

A majority of bone tumors are benign... But even tumors that are not cancerous have the potential to do serious damage. But there is one treatment that might stop those tumors in their tracks.

17-year old Vanessa Sandler is an energetic teen-ager, and an avid dancer. So last fall when she developed a pain in her shoulder, she and her family thought it might be a dance injury. 

"I'd wake up at 4 o'clock in the morning because the pain was so intense," describes Vanessa.

(sot: sam sandler/ father :20 - :28)
"I was thinking at that time, whatever issue she has is going to be taken care of with an anti-inflammatory, physical therapy and we were going to get it over," says Sam Sandler, Vanessa's father.

But Vanessa's pain got increasingly worse and as it turns out it had nothing to do with her dancing. Vanessa had a rare, benign bone tumor called a chondroblastoma. Doctor phil wa-daj-oh is an orthopedic tumor specialist at suburban hospital in bethesda who treated vanessa.

(sot: dr. Phil wodajo/ orthopedic oncologist :48 - :56)
"some of these tumors are very aggressive, i mean, if you let them go, they eat up the bone, they start off as a small hole, and then they get bigger and bigger and after awhile, you don't have a joint."

these tumors are treated with surgery, in three parts: first.. The tumor is scooped out... The second step is called cryosurgery. That's when liquid nitrogen is injected into the tumor site.

(sot: dr. Phil wodajo/ orthopedic oncologist)
"what it does is it freezes the bone, and a little bit beyond your instruments, so that you can actually get sort of a shell, a kill zone, really so the tumor can't grow."

finally a metal plate-- and in vanessa's case.. A bone graft.. Are put in to strengthen the bone while it regenerates.

(sot: dr. Phil wodajo/ orthopedic oncologist)
"overtime, the hole will become bone again."

vanessa spent months in physical therapy.. Now, she's on track for a full recovery...

(sot: vanessa sandler/ patient)
"i'm feeling great right now, and i don't have to worry that's something eating my bone."

doreen gentzler, nbc news.## ))

unlike other benign bone tumors... Chondroblastomas have the potential to spread and become cancerous.
 So doctors will have to monitor vanessa for years to make sure that does not happen...
 But her prognosis is excellent.#

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