More than 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer all over the world and about 96,000 of those children die per year. 80% of the children suffering from cancer could be cured by timely and intensive care, but only 20% of the children suffering from cancer live in the developed countries and the remaining live in the developing or underdeveloped countries. The major cause of lower rate of survival in the developing or underdeveloped countries is the abandonment of treatment.
Children diagnosed with cancer have 20% chance of surviving in the low income countries while as; in the cash rich countries the chances of survival are 70%.
Childhood Cancer is said to be caused by environmental factors like radiation, pollution and hereditary causes. Familial or genetic factors contribute of about 5-15% of the cases, environmental and exogenous factors such as prenatal exposure to tobacco, x-rays, or certain medications, contribute of about 5-10% of the cases.
The children suffering from cancer are at a risk of various cognitive or learning problems. These problems may arise due to the brain injuries caused by various tumors or by the cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The most common childhood cancer types are:
* Childhood leukemia
* Brain tumors
The main subtypes of brain and central nervous system tumors in children are: astrocytoma, brain stem glioma, craniopharyngioma, desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma, ependymoma, high-grade glioma, medulloblastoma and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor.
Other types or less common types of childhood cancers are:
* Wilms tumor.
* Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
* Ewing sarcoma.
* Germ cell tumors.
* Pleuropulmonary blatoma.
* Hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Symptoms of childhood cancer:
The symptoms of cancer in children are very hard to recognize right away because the symptoms sometime overlap with common illnesses or injuries. Sometimes early signs of cancer are masked by the children getting sick often or have bruises or bumps. Parents should be more careful and should get regular checkups of their children done and keep an eye for unusual signs and symptoms, which include:
* An unusual lump or swelling
* Unexplained paleness and loss of energy
* Easy bruising
* An ongoing pain in one area of the body
* Unexplained fever or illness that doesn’t go away
* Frequent headaches, often with vomiting
* Sudden eye or vision changes
* Sudden unexplained weight loss
Most of these symptoms are much more likely to be caused by something other than cancer, such as an injury or infection. Still, if your child has any of these symptoms, check with your doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Situation of childhood cancer in India
India’s has a population of more than 1.22 billion and is gradually increasing. One of the biggest concerns childhood cancers, which has been increasing over the past years. More than 2.5 million cases of cancer are reported every year, and around 50,000 are children. The reported incidence of childhood cancer has increased from the past 25 years. The number of cases of female children increased from 44% to 76% and male children from 12% to 27%.
There are multiple inter related factors responsible for the poorer outlook of childhood cancer in India. Some of the factors include:
* Limited financial resources
* Lack of awareness of the symptoms
* Difficulty in accessing healthcare
* Education level of parent
* Belief in alternate medicine
* Belief in incurability of cancer
So it should not be difficult for us to focus on this prevailing issue.
Treating children is very different from treating adults. The best for a child is to get treatment at a hospital or treatment center where many children have been treated for cancer. Today, most children with suffering from cancer are treated at specialized centers designed for children. Going to a hospital that specializes in treating childhood cancer ensures that a child gets the best available cancer treatment.
When a child is diagnosed and treated for cancer, both the patient and the family enter the strange, complex, and often frightening world of modern medicine. Hospitals and medical centers can be big, confusing places with seemingly endless corridors and many buildings. Hospital rooms can be drab and scary. Professionals and staff members have questions to ask, tests to do, and information to share. But medical terms can sound like a foreign language. There are endless forms to fill out.
At MYshah Health Care, we provide support to these children by promoting; health awareness programs, promoting techniques for early disease detection and preventive health care habits. We support integrated preventive health care. We promote a financial support system for the needy and underprivileged. We campaign against the misuse of healthcare system and commercialization of these systems. We equip patients with right approach and essential information about the disease. We counsel the parents on how to cope up with their children’s disease.