How hepatoblastoma cancer was diagnosed?

We would like to give some credit out to Dr. Kathy Braico, Adirondack Pediatrics, of Glens Falls, NY. Dr. Kathy is Charlotte’s Pediatrician, and was the one that determined that there was an issue.

On Wednesday, January 28th, 2009, we took Charlotte for her regualar 18-month Pediatric Check-up. During this examination, Dr. Kathy was feeling Charlotte’s abdomen and was taken abackby something she felt. She wondered if this was constipation maybe? She arranged for us to go to Glens Falls Hospital to have an ultrasound done on Charlotte, and once the results had been read, she asked us to return to they office to talk more.

She was able to show us the “lump” that had been found on Charlotte’s liver in the ultrasound. This was some what an eye opening experience. We discussed some options and she told us that she was referring us to Dr. Jennifer Pearce, Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, at Albany Medical Center.

At this time I’d like to mention that Charlotte had no symptoms. Nothing appeared to be wrong in any way. Some common symptoms are:

  • a large abdominal mass, or swollen abdomen
  • weight loss, decreased appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • fever
  • itching skin
  • anemia (pale skin and lips from decreased number of red blood cells)
  • back pain from compression of the tumor

Charlotte didn’t have any of these, and was concidered a healthy, energetic, outgoing young girl!

This is where the whole story began, and you can read more about it here.

We would like to thank Dr. Kathy for being thorough in her examination, and to not simply disregard her thoughts about what this may or may not have been. Every doctor that we encountered at Albany Medical Center during the week that we where there for Charlotte’s surgery and first cycle of chemotherapy asked how this was diagnosed. When we tell this this, all of them have the same simple, but honest reply, “That is a really good Pediatrician!”

Without you and your professionalism our little angel could have gone much longer, not only adding to the treamtment that she is now receiving at a minimum, but potentially giving her a slim chance of making it out of being a toddler! This is why we are so grateful to you!

Thank you Dr. Kathy. Thank you very much!