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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 325-329

Neglected orthopedic oncology - Causes, epidemiology and challenges for management in developing countries

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, J. N. Medical College, A.M.U., Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Y S Siddiqui
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, J. N. Medical College, A.M.U., Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.176737

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Background: Management of malignant bone and soft tissue tumors remains an overwhelming confront to orthopedic surgeons. The challenge is discriminating in developing countries due to inadequate diagnostic and therapeutic amenities and unawareness. A lot has been discussed about the neglected orthopedic trauma, but the published literature on the causes and management of neglected bone and soft tissue tumors is sparse. Hence, current study was undertaken to highlight the causes of neglect and therapeutic challenges for managing these neglected tumors in developing countries. Aims And Objectives: To determine the causes of neglect of malignant bone and soft tissue tumors, their epidemiology (including their relative frequencies, age, gender discrimination, anatomical sites of occurrence and histological characteristics) and difficult aspect of management due to neglect or delayed presentation. Materials And Methods: This was an appraisal of the neglected malignant bone and soft tissue tumors presented to J. N. Medical College and Hospital from June 2008 to May 2013. Criteria for labeling the tumor as neglected malignant bone and soft tissue tumor was delayed presentation (>3 months), locally advanced disease, ulceration, sepsis, fungating mass or metastasis at the time of presentation. All the cases were reviewed and analyzed for age, gender, histological types, educational status and socioeconomic status of the family, any prior treatment by traditional bone setters or registered medical practitioner, cause of delay for seeking medical advice. We have also analyzed the treatment given at our institute and the outcome of the tumor. Observations And Results: Eighteen patients fulfilled the criteria for neglected malignant bone and soft tissue tumors, hence were included in study. Eight cases were of osteosarcoma, five cases were of Ewing's sarcoma, three cases were of chondrosarcoma and 1 case each was of pleomorphic liposarcoma and primary lymphoma of bone. According to Enneking staging system 11 cases were of stage III (distant metastasis) and 7 were stage II-B. Seven were females, and 11 were males. Age range was 5–68 years. 15 patients (83.3%) belonged to low socioeconomic status with 17 patients (94.4%) belonged to uneducated background. Cause of delay in seeking medical advice was neglect by the patient and family due to financial constraints, cultural and religious believes, lack of access to health care facilities, consultation with traditional bone setters and even misdiagnosis by qualified orthopedic surgeons. The tumors included were all unresectable and of huge sizes, hence were managed with amputation/dis-articulation, chemotherapy or radiation. Conclusion: The current study tries to highlight the causes and quantity of neglect of malignant bone and soft tissue tumors prevalent in our country, which poses a therapeutic challenge for management and consequent mutilating surgeries with poor outcome resulting in loss of extremity and existence.


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