Mysuru: Cancer occurs in people of all ages including children, however, cancer in children is rare and is curable if detected early and treated effectively. Every year nearly 3 lakh children are diagnosed with cancer across the world, in India alone every year more than 50,000 new childhood cancer cases below 15 years of age are reported said Dr KG Srinivas, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Bharath Hospital and Institute of Oncology.
As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness month which is observed every year in the month of September, addressing participants at Bharath Hospital and Institute of Oncology Dr Srinivas who is also a paediatrician said “In many countries knowledge about childhood cancer is meagre. As a result, children are often misdiagnosed or are only taken to see a doctor when their disease is very advanced and difficult to treat. The threat of cancer is rising globally among children too.
There are more than 10 types of cancers which can be seen in children which include acute leukaemia, brain tumour, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma and soft tissue sarcomas. Among them, Blood cancer or leukaemia is the most common cancer among children 1 to 10 years which contributes to more than one-third of all pediatric malignancies and needs early intervention and treatment. In India, most cases go unreported in children and are not diagnosed on time due to a lack of awareness, which is a major concern. Cancer in the paediatric age group contributes to around 5 per cent of total cancer in India. However, it is highly curable if detected early and treated at specialized hospitals. About 70 per cent of cancer cases in children are curable”.
“The common symptoms of childhood cancer are prolonged fever of over one month and pain in bones and common viral illness, weakness, bleeding, an unusual lump or swelling or pain in one area of the body, frequent headaches often with vomiting and sudden changes in the eye or vision. If children are losing weight continuously it is also a symptom of cancer which needs early detection and treatment” added Dr Srinivas.