Girl, 11, diagnosed with rare bone cancer after symptoms dismissed as 'growing pains'

Ivie Adams, pictured with her mother Zoe, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. (SWNS)
Ivie Adams, pictured with her mother Zoe, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. (SWNS)

A young girl who thought her symptoms were simply 'growing pains' was later diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.

When Ivie Adams, 11, started complaining about having pains, this was the first cause of concern for her mum, who initially thought it was age-related, or fatigue from playing sports.

However, Ivie’s mum Zoe, 47, became further concerned after Ivie would walk in the middle of the night and complain about the pain.

This led Zoe to calling the GP to get an appointment, but was told it would be in five weeks time. Instead, she queued outside her GP practice at 7am the next morning.

"It is lucky as after she had an X-ray, it found she had bone cancer in her femur [the thigh bone]," Zoe explains. "It’s scary to think about what could have happened if she didn’t get seen early on."

Following a biopsy, it was discovered that Ivie had high-grade malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects only one in 100,000 people.

"Even though I didn’t think much of it when I was first diagnosed, all I knew is that I didn’t want to die," Ivie says.

"The first round of chemo was really horrible as it made me sick and I was worried it was going to happen again when I had the second dose."

Paper Cut Craft Human Knee Joint With Ligaments and Meniscus Anatomy on Beige Background.
The cancer was found in Ivie's femur. (Getty Images)

Zoe says first hearing of Ivie’s diagnosis was 'horrific', as were the 'months of hell' Ivie went through to fight off the cancer.

The school girl lost her hair as a result of the chemo, and doctors decided to replace Ivie's femur with an artificial hip and knee. The latter meant she had to learn how to walk again, and required extensive physiotherapy so that she could bend her knee.

Now, however, Ivie has been deemed cancer-free, and she will need to go to regular check ups for the next two years to keep an eye on her condition.

Back at school, Ivie and her family want to raise awareness of rare cancers that do not have clear symptoms, so that tumours can be spotted early.

"We both want to help people recognise the symptoms of bone cancer, called sarcomas, and help any families that get into what we have had to endure," Zoe says.

"Ivie is an inspiration and has a great story to tell, to help people like her in the community."

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour is a cancer of the cells that can grow in the soft tissues of the body and can spread quickly.

It makes up just 5% to 10% of sarcoma cases, which are rare cancer cases. The most common symptoms of MPNST is pain, weakness, and a growing lump under the skin.

Treatment can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

Don't delay in speaking to your doctor about any unusual symptoms.

Additional reporting by SWNS.