50 New Year, New You Innovative healthcare & specialist clinics

Promotional Content • Saturday 9th January 2021

January is a time for fresh starts and resolutions — never more so than this year

Thirteen-year-old Amy has her sights set on learning to skateboard — a fairly standard ambition for a confident, fun-loving teenager. But Amy is far from normal. She’ll be balancing and perfecting ollies, thanks to a state-of-the-art, custom-made titanium prosthesis in place of her thigh bone


ot long ago, Amy was complaining

of aching in her legs, something that was

dismissed as growing pains by her GP. However, having been regularly woken by his daughter screaming, her father Jon sought a second opinion at Accident & Emergency, where an X-ray showed the cause of these growing pains was a rare childhood cancer. Amy was immediately referred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and under the expert skill of Mr Panos Gikas, the tumour and bone in Amy’s leg was removed. “Tanks to Mr Gikas and chari-

ties like the Skeletal Cancer Trust, research has come such a long way,” says Jon. “If this had happened 10 years ago, Amy wouldn’t be with us now. I can’t thank everybody enough.” Kostis is another example of a

13-year-old who’ll be spending 2021 enjoying his new bike care-free after two years of treatment for an aggres- sive type of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma that was destroying his thigh bone. He received expert treatment

at the Royal National

Orthopeadic Hospital under Mr Gikas as well as at University College Hospital under the care of Dr Michelagnoli (Paediatric Oncologist) and now he’s back to normal enjoying life and his new bicycle. Bone cancer, known as sarcoma,

affects people of all ages but it’s particularly aggressive in children and young people, as their cells are developing at such a fast rate. As a consultant at the RNOH, a trustee of the Skeletal Cancer Trust and clinical lead on research projects, Mr Gikas knows the importance of funding for both research and patient quality of life. Te growing endo prosthesis that Amy and Kostis use can be length- ened as they grow without the need for further surgery. It was pioneered at the RNOH and is now used as

Mr Panagiotis Gikas BSc, MBBS (Hons), MD(Res), PhD FRCS (Tr&Orth), Consultant Orthopaedic and Sarcoma Surgeon


Milli Lipshaw, Paediatric and Adolescent Sarcoma Clinical Nurse Specialist, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital


standard practice, reducing amputa- tions for children worldwide. Tis research is provided by dona-


tions to the Skeletal Cancer Trust, an organisation based at the RNOH dedicated to bone and soft tissue cancer research, as well as providing the best possible care to improve the quality of life for all patients. New Year Resolutions for the staff at the charity are focused on supporting a wave of new patients in the coming months. Last year, referrals were down by 40% due to coronavirus. Tis doesn’t mean there are fewer cases. Instead, people were worried about leaving the house, they didn’t want to be in hospital, nor burden an already stretched health

service. However, in time, they’ll come forward and the charity is braced for many advanced-stage diagnosis of this aggressive cancer. Amy’s Clinical Nurse Specialist

is Milli Lipshaw. She says, “It’s so important to raise awareness of sarcoma so that it can be diagnosed quickly. Many of our patients are misdiagnosed with more common childhood ailments.” To cope with this demand, the

Skeletal Cancer Trust is aiming to raise £150,000 to improve the survival and quality of life of many young people. Not least two 13-year-olds, putting last year behind them by learning to skate and cycle.

Bone cancer, known as sarcoma, affects people of all ages but it’s particularly aggressive in children and young people

To help, please visit or

Sarah Wright, Head of Fundraising, Skeletal Cancer Trust

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