National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
The childhood is naturally the specific age where kids bloom, dream, play and starts genuinely enjoying the life. But for innocent children typically encountered with cancer, is precisely a tough battle for them or their life. The kids face it with unflinching courage and an acceptance of their circumstances that humbles us.
Cancer among children constitutes 5.5% of total cases in India according to the Indian Council for Medical Research. Ten years ago, this percentage had more than doubled from 2.5%. In the absolute numbers, this indicates that there around 30,000 childhood cancers in India annually. A surprising reality, however, is that only around one in 10 of the childhood cancer cases receives complete therapy. As a likely consequence, while cure rates for common childhood cancers like lymphoma and leukaemia are over 80% in the developed world, in India, they have remained abysmally low at around 30%. The Cancer kills as many as 260 children per week on an average in the country. As many as 13,726 deaths due to childhood cancer occurred in India in 2010, out of which 0.7 per cent were aged one month to 14 years.
Some Facts of Childhood Cancer:
- The children with cancer often have a more advanced cancer when first diagnosed.
- 70-90% of childhood cancer can be curable with better response to the treatment and the protocols.
- Unlike the cause of adult cancers, the causes of most childhood cancers are as yet unknown
- The childhood Cancers constitute 3-4% of all cancers.
- In India, it’s estimated that nearly 40-50,000 new childhood cancer cases present every year.
- As in adult cancers, 70% children with cancer still die of the disease in India due to apparent lack of awareness, late detection and diagnosis, the exorbitant cost of effective treatment and lack of supportive care.
The rare Common cancers in children are precisely leukaemia (30% of a total), brain tumours (20%), lymphomas (15%), neuroblastoma and Wilms tumour (10%) and the remaining 25-30% are bone tumours, soft tissue sarcomas, retinoblastoma, hepatoblastoma and germ cell tumours. The exact causes of childhood cancers are yet unknown; however, the conditions associated with an increased incidence of cancers in kids are predisposing genetic conditions, irradiation, drugs, immunodeficiency disorders, and chemicals and cancer-producing viruses. The mild symptoms in leukaemia patients are fever, pallor, bleeding, bone and joint pains, lymphadenopathy and hepatosplenomegaly. The solid tumours like a brain tumour come with a headache, vomiting, and convulsions. The symptoms of retinoblastoma cancer are the white reflex in the eye, decreased vision and acquired squint. Bone and soft tissue tumour symptoms are pain and swelling. Neuroblastoma and Wilms tumour symptoms are abdominal mass and pain.