Dr. Harsha Prasad L

Consultant - Pediatric Hemato Oncology

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Dr. Harsha Prasad L

Consultant - Pediatric Hemato Oncology

Manipal Hospitals, Mangaluru

Childhood Cancers Are Curable

Posted On: Mar 23, 2023

blogs read 3 Min Read

Childhood cancer treatment in Mangalore

Every year on February 15, International Childhood Cancer Day is observed to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to support families.

Every year, three to four lakh children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide. In India, over 50,000 cases are reported each year. There is a big gap in the survival of these children between developed and developing countries. Most of these cancers can be cured if we detect them early and provide the right treatment and supportive therapy. In many parts of our country, these children are not able to receive tertiary oncology services. 

Childhood Cancers are Different from Adult Cancers

  • We don't know why the vast majority of childhood cancers occur. The role of lifestyle and environmental factors in the development of cancer in children is limited. They are present at an advanced stage, but they respond better. Cancer types seen in children differ from those seen in adults. We see blood cancers, brain tumours, abdominal masses, and lymphomas more commonly in children. In terms of tolerance to chemotherapy, children do better than adults. Visit a top hospital for childhood cancer treatment in Mangalore as early as possible to get the best results and avoid complications. 

  • The common question that parents and their relatives routinely ask is about the cause of cancer and how it can be prevented. Cancer develops when the cells' repair mechanisms get disturbed, leading to the uncontrolled production of bad cells. 

Blood cancers are the Most Common Type of Childhood Cancer

  • It accounts for nearly 1/3 of all childhood cancers. To create the appropriate referral pathway, we must raise awareness among parents as well as primary care physicians. They usually present with prolonged fever, body pain, bony pain, not eating well, losing weight, skin bruises, bleeding, and small swellings in the neck. On performing a simple blood test such as the CBC, which may show low haemoglobin, a high or low white blood cell count, a higher number of lymphocytes, and low platelet counts, if we provide proper treatment, then over 80% of them can be completely cured. We can cure more than 90% of patients with other types of cancer, such as Hodgkin's lymphoma, Wilms tumour, and retinoblastoma. Consult a top blood cancer hospital for childhood cancer treatment in Mangalore.

  • Brain tumours can cause early morning vomiting, headaches, new-onset seizures, balance and gait problems, and changes in behaviour and handwriting.

Treatment of Childhood Cancer is Challenging

  • Children are supposed to be with other children during their childhood, studying in school. However, once we start treatment, they spend 2–3 years of their lives in the hospital environment. The family too suffers and finds it difficult to cope; siblings suffer due to lack of attention. They cannot go to work, as most of the time both parents stay with the sick child in the hospital.

  • The overall survival rate of childhood cancers in developed countries is around 80%, whereas it is around 40-50% in India. This, too, varies from centre to centre and state to state.

  • Previously, it was considered a death sentence when one was diagnosed with cancer, but not anymore. Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (a type of blood cancer) has been dubbed a modern medicine success story, with cure rates increasing from 30% to over 90%. The treatment lasts for 2 to 3 years. Other types of cancer require treatment for 2–12 months. With the availability of advanced pathology labs, radiology services, blood banks, radiation oncology, and good nursing care, many centres have come up in India to provide holistic treatment to children.

Consult a top oncologist in Mangalore for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in children. 

To provide high-quality service, we need to get everything right, which comes at a cost. Hence, cancer care is expensive. Fortunately, these days many NGOs, government schemes, and private donors come forward to fund needy children, which helps complete the treatment and improve the overall cure rate. In this part of coastal Karnataka, no child goes home without treatment for lack of finances.

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