New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Over 40,000 cases of cancer in children are being reported in India every year, experts said here Sunday, adding that only a fraction of them manage to receive proper treatment.
“The number of cases of childhood cancer is increasing in India. Of the 40,000 that is reported, only 20-30 percent manage to get proper treatment,” senior consultant pediatric oncologist at the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute Gauri Kapoor said at the institute’s 10th annual conference here.
“Unlike cancer in adults, childhood cancers have a higher cure rate. But, this is only possible if the cancer is diagnosed at the right stage and the child is given right mode of treatment,” added Kapoor.
The common cancers among children are acute lymphoblastic leukemia or blood cancer, germ cell tumour, brain tumour and liver and kidney cancer, among others.
The annual conference saw participation from over 100 experts from the All Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Tata Memorial hospital in Mumbai, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the US, and various other hospitals from across the world.
The three-day conference culminated in a ‘walk on awareness of childhood cancer’ in the central Delhi area Sunday that saw nearly 2,000 people participate.
“The idea is to spread awareness on children who have survived the battle of cancer. Once they grow up, they are made to face discrimination due to the existent stigma in the society,” additional secretary of the Indian Cancer Society Jyotsna Govil told IANS.
“The cure rate for childhood cancer is high and we must make an effort to make life easy for these children who have won the battle,” added Govil.
The conference also included an interactive workshop of 25 cancer survivors and doctors.
“The need is to develop more on dedicated pediatric oncology units that are equipped with adequate infrastructure and are viable to the masses,” said Kapoor.