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Compassionate healthcare and purposeful innovation for Cambodia’s children

How Baby Soriya Beat Neuroblastoma


Baby Soriya Overcomes Cancer at AHC

Young baby Soriya is visiting AHC to receive yet another round of chemotherapy treatment. She’s become a very familiar face to our oncology team; Soriya has been receiving treatment in AHC’s Inpatient Department every three weeks for the past six months.

Each cycle requires a five-day visit from Soriya and her mother at AHC. But today, she is receiving her final cycle of treatment. Soriya has successfully overcame neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancerous tumor that develops in nerve tissue.

Neuroblastoma is only found in children. It is the second highest type of cancer seen at AHC, behind leukaemia. It develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body, often the adrenal glands — which is where Soriya’s cancer had developed.

When she first arrived at AHC, shortly before her first birthday, the outlook was not encouraging. She had a very large cancerous tumour, about the size of an adult fist, growing on the left side of her abdomen. The tumour was causing internal bleeding, severe edema of her lower body, and she was having difficulty breathing.

Tumours of this size and development typically have a low survival rate and cases are commonly sent home for palliative care. This was initially the case for Soriya when her mother first sought care at their closest public hospital. She was advised that the cancer had spread too far and there was nothing that could be done.

Her mother took Soriya to AHC for a second opinion.

The AHC Oncology team started chemotherapy treatment immediately when they first saw Soriya. To the surprise of the team, after the first round of chemotherapy treatment, Soriya showed signs of improvement. As the treatment continued, so did her condition.

We thought she arrived at AHC too late – the tumour was large and visible. We believed there was hope in treatment, however. We we were very happy when we saw the cancer retreating.”

Dr Sing Heng, Oncology Team Lead, AHC

When her condition was stable and her weight healthy, then came the task of removing the large cancerous tumour from her abdomen. The surgery went well without any complications and the large tumour was successfully removed.

 Baby Soriya Receives Cancer Care at AHC

Today, all remnants of the cancer have been removed from her body. Soriya and her family no longer have to make the four-hour trip by bus, from a remote village close to the Thai border to AHC, to receive treatment. Soriya has spent a large part of her young life travelling to Siem Reap and receiving treatment at AHC.   

Despite her tiny stature, she showed great strength to battle the cancer in her body – and her family made great sacrifices to ensure she received lifesaving treatment. It was all worth it, as now she is a thriving young girl with a prognosis that she will lead a normal, healthy life.

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Ongoing support from donors and volunteers allows us to continue to deliver high quality medical care to children affected by disease and poverty in Cambodia.