Phoebe Daniel was just 13 years old when she started experiencing terrible pain in her right leg that got worse at night, leaving her unable to sleep.
As the pain worsened, Phoebe’s mother took her to the emergency room, where they were told the pain was most likely growing pains, but a scan was performed to be careful.
Phoebe was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the most common form of bone cancer in children and young adults, and she underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and had her knee and tibia replaced with a titanium implant.
While Phoebe was undergoing her treatment, she took comfort in her pet Dalmatian named Chops, who also happened to be diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the same time as his owner when he saw his back leg amputated.
Phoebe Daniel was just 13 years old when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the same condition her Dalmatian Chop had
Phoebe’s treatment saw her undergo six rounds of chemotherapy and have her knee and tibia replaced with a titanium implant
Phoebe and her dog battled the disease at the same time, but Chops passed away devastatingly in December
Phoebe and her dog simultaneously battled the disease in 2021, but while the high school student is now in remission and adjusting to life with a new leg, Chops died devastatingly from the disease in December.
Phoebe’s mother, Gemma Daniel, said: ‘It was very strange when Phoebe got the same cancer seven months later.
“I feel like they’re really related because of what they’ve been through, so when Chops left us at Christmas, we were all devastated.
“We’re still trying to adjust to life without him.”
Phoebe’s treatment lasted a total of eight months and she soon got clear scans, meaning she was cancer free.
The teenager, who is now 15, has since raised money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust’s Sarcoma Awareness Month by taking part in the annual Lytham St Anne’s Swimarathon.
Phoebe’s treatment lasted a total of eight months and she soon got clear scans, meaning she was cancer free
The campaign was created to raise awareness for sarcomas, which have seen little improvement in treatment and survival rates over the past four decades.
About 160 Britons are diagnosed with osteosarcoma each year, charities say. About 1,000 cases are diagnosed in the US each year.
It starts in cells that make up bones called osteoblasts.
Tumors usually start at the end of long bones where new bone tissue forms as a young person grows, such as knee and shoulder joints, according to the NHS.
While pain at the site of the tumor may come and go initially, the NHS says the pain may become more severe and constant at night, especially.
Symptoms can be confused with common problems such as a sports injury or growing pains, according to the charity Sarcoma UK.
What is Osteosarcoma?
Osteosarcoma is a form of bone cancer. It is more common in older children over the age of five and in teenagers.
The cancer often starts at the end of long bones, where new tissue forms as the bone grows.
The most common places where the tumor grows are the arms and legs, especially around the knee and shoulder joints.
What are the symptoms?
- Persistent bone pain that gets worse over time.
- Difficulty moving a joint due to swelling and redness over a bone.
- A prominent lump above a bone.
- Problems walking, such as a limp.
- A weak bone that breaks more easily.
How is it treated?
- Chemotherapy, a cancer-killing drug, is used to shrink the tumor.
- Radiotherapy is also used to destroy cancer cells.
- Surgery can be used to remove the section of cancerous bone. And often it is possible to replace the removed bone.
- But amputation is sometimes necessary. If the cancer has spread beyond a bone to blood vessels or nerves or if it is impossible to remove just the cancerous part.