Six-year-old diagnosed with world's rarest form of cancer

Six-year-old diagnosed with world's rarest form of cancer

"My little boy has world's rarest form of child cancer - but that just makes him unique"

The Mirror covered the news of six-year-old George McIntosh, who suffers from a disseminated olligodendrial leptomeningeal tumour.

He is the only child in the world so far to have been diagnosed with the cancer. Up until now, it has only been detected in adults.

This type of cancer affects the central nervous system of the brain and spine, and there are only nine other cases in the world.

George had to go through a number of major surgeries as well as have plates and shunts fitted in his head since being diagnosed with the condition on his mum's 40th birthday last year in October. The little kid boy also goes through chemotherapy.


Suffering from cancer was not easy for his family. His mum, Julie, 41 explains that :

"Nothing can prepare you for when you go through something like this and it has totally changed our lives."

The mum admits life has been extremely tough for the family, where husband Ewan, 38, works offshore in Africa half of the year.

Despite feeling that it is "really hard and it is going to continue to be hard", Julie explained that "we have honed in on what is important and we appreciate every day. We have our kids and we enjoy all of the little things with them."

The unique nature of George being the only child in the world to have this type of cancer means, "a lot of his treatment is experimental and we just take it day-by-day."

She added that, "he was a puzzle for nine months and now he is unique, and medical experts are working to publish his case in an international journal which will highlight his condition and his symptoms."

The first sign of a problem was when George was five.

The former pupil at Berwick's Holy Trinity CE First School, Northumberland in the United Kingdom had developed a squint in his eye and got emergency surgery to reduce swelling on his brain.

The original prognosis by medical professionals was that George had tuberculous or meningitis and they had treated him accordingly.

A routine scan caused them to realise that it was something else. George's condition developed in an abnormal fashion compared to tuberculous or meningitis.

The scan showed that "he had a biopsy on his spine and they discovered that it was this extremely rare tumour. Thankfully, it is low grade and is not malignant."

George's next scan is in Edinburgh on December 19, a day before his 7th birthday.

While George is the only child to have a disseminated olligodendrial leptomeningeal tumour, cancer in children is sadly, not that rare. Do take note of these signs that your child may have cancer.

Cancer, while a dangerous condition, does not have a 100% fatality rate. Maeve is a 6-year-old cancer survivor, so do not lose all hope.

theAsianparent wishes George all the best and hope he recovers soon!

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Written by

Jasmine Yeo

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