International Childhood Cancer Day

90% children with cancer in developing nations: Experts

LUDHIANA: Every year, February 15 is observed as International Childhood Cancer Day.

90% children with cancer in developing nations: Experts

Cancer patients with their kin and doctors at the DMCH in Ludhiana. Tribune photo

editorial@tribune.com

Manav Mander
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, February 15

Every year, February 15 is observed as International Childhood Cancer Day.

The global theme for International Childhood Cancer Day this year is ‘No more pain, No more loss’. There is a wide gap between childhood cancer survivors in the low middle-income countries and that of high-income countries.

Dr Shruti Kakkar, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, has been holding outreach clinics at Advanced Cancer Institute, Bhatinda, for the past one year.

The department is organising ‘Foundation Oncology Skills Workshop’ for pediatric nurses on February 23 and 24. Nurses play an important role in the care of these children and the department hoped to improve their outcome by empowering nurses with up-to-date knowledge.

Patients were given yellow ribbon to wear, which signified ‘International Childhood Cancer Day’. The DMCH Managing Society decided to give free treatment to a girl child whose family doesn’t have any resources.

SPS Hospital, Ludhiana, also observed the day by celebrating the spirit of children fighting this disease.

Dr Priyanka Gupta, Head of the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at SPS Hospital, said International Childhood Cancer Day was notable for creating awareness among the masses for eliminating pain and suffering of children fighting cancer and achieve at least 60 per cent survival rate.

Gupta said childhood cancer should be made a national and global child health priority to ensure early and proper diagnosis, the right to access life-saving essential medicines, the right to appropriate and quality medical treatments, the right to treatment without pain and suffering, and when a cure is not attainable, the right of the child to a pain-free end of life care if everything else fails.

Gupta said cancer was an uncontrolled growth of cells in any part of the body which can spread to other parts. “The belief about cancer is that it exists only in adults. This is untrue as it can appear at any age in life. In most cases, the cause is unknown. However, it is important to understand that it is not caused by anything the parent did or didn’t do. This can be attributed to lack of cancer registries in a majority of low and middle income countries, under diagnosis, misdiagnosis and/or under-registration of children with cancer,” she said.

Experts and researches estimate say approximately 90 per cent of children  with cancer reside in developing countries. The commonest cancers are blood cancers (Leukemia) and brain tumours.

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