When one little girl in Arizona complained of persistent leg pains, her mother did what any parent would do and took her to the emergency room. After a quick examination, the doctor dismissed the little girl’s pain as mere growing pains or leg pains that are common in children which tend to strike at night and disappear in the morning just as this little girls pain did. However, this little girls pain showed no sign of improving and was so bad it was waking her from sleep at which point she was taken to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Abri Bentley was more thoroughly examined by the staff at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and was presented with a new and far more frightening diagnosis…Cancer. Specifically, a rare type of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma which means that cancer cells grow and develop inside the bone or soft tissue. With only approximately 250 children and young adults diagnosed each year, this cancer makes up less than 2% of all childhood cancers making it harder to identify. Ewing’s Sarcoma is most commonly found in the clavicle, pelvis, femur, humerus and the rib cage and tends to affect the population between the ages of ten and twenty most frequently. Patients who have this cancer also report incredible pain in their bones which is far more severe than the original diagnosis of growing pains which tends to affect the muscles and is more comparable to muscle aches suffered after physical activity. Although the then 8-year-old Abri was younger than the majority of cases, a biopsy confirmed the doctor’s suspicions, and she was immediately started on chemotherapy. Ewing’s Sarcoma is aggressive, and without a multi-drug chemotherapy approach the odds of long-term survival are around 10%, thankfully in Abri’s case, the doctors knew to approach her cancer with every weapon at their disposal. Using a multidrug chemotherapy technique the odds of long-term survival jump all the way up to around 75%.
After 17 rounds of chemotherapy, Abri underwent surgery to have her tibia removed which was then replaced with the bone from a cadaver. Thanks to the doctors at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and their ability to not only quickly diagnosis Abri but also get her into treatment she is now in remission and returning to normal. The entire Bentley family is incredibly grateful for the good work done by the Phoenix Children’s Hospital for saving their daughter.