"You don't want to be doctors 1 though 5 who misdiagnosed my brother's sarcoma" Jasmine Baultrippe poignantly stated to seventy 2nd year medical students at Rein in Sarcoma's annual "Sarcoma Day" at the University of Minnesota. Organized by RIS Sarcoma Scholars, the lunch lecture was highly informative with a presentation on Soft and Bone Tissue Sarcoma by Dr. Christian Ogilvie and personal presentations by Jasmine Baultrippe who lost her brother "Beanz" to osteosarcoma and Lisa Griebel who is a sarcoma survivor.
During his presentation, Dr. Christian Ogilvie emphasized that physicians should be vigilant when a patient's pain does not fit with their medical history, to follow up with patients to make sure masses do not continue growing which could be a sign of malignancy, and to consider pursuing an x-ray or MRI if a mass is discovered. He also discussed the harm that can occur with surgeries to remove sarcomas which could make malignancies worse and stated the importance of referring patients to a center that cares for many sarcoma patients.
Jasmine Baultrippe talked about her brother Julian “Beanz” Baultrippe who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 19 and passed away at age 21. Beanz was playing basketball and going up for shot when his shoulder went out and he felt pain. He went to five doctors and was misdiagnosed with various sports injuries. When his intense pain did not go away, Beanz's dad took him to an emergency department where he got an MRI that discovered a tumor due to osteosarcoma. For the management of his cancer, Beanz had his arm amputated and needed to have fluid drained from his lungs due to his cancer which had spread. Jasmine also discussed the impact osteosarcoma had on her family. They wondered what would have happened if the first five doctors who saw Julian had diagnosed him correctly. Jasmine asked medical students to be the doctor to make the diagnosis of sarcoma and increase survival by being diligent in learning about sarcoma, taking extra steps to accurately diagnose patients, and to refraining from making assumptions about patients that could be wrong.
Lisa Griebel spoke about her journey as a survivor of malignant fibrosarcoma. For five years she asked doctors to look at lump on the back of her neck and was repeatedly told that the lump was no cause for alarm, but the lump kept getting bigger which is one sign of sarcoma cancer. In November 2005 while getting her hair cut, Lisa’s hairdresser mentioned to Lisa that the lump on her neck had gotten bigger. Lisa saw Dr. Ed Cheng who ordered a surgical biopsy which discovered that the lump was malignant fibrosarcoma. Lisa talked about how it is a common theme that sarcomas take a long time to diagnose, and asked medical students to help eliminate sarcoma from our vocabulary by working to diagnose sarcomas sooner.
We are grateful to all of our speakers and medical students who were able to attend this event, and we look forward to providing medical students with further opportunities to learn about sarcoma cancers and get involved in the Rein in Sarcoma Foundation!
Our thanks to Erin Clemens for professionally videotaping these presentations.