80% children with cancer do not survive beyond teenage

Hyderabad, It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children up to the age of 19 years are diagnosed with cancers worldwide; and only 20 percent of them survive to live beyond their teenage.

The situation is equally grim among the low-income sections in India, and the medical fraternity is trying to help such children live long and lead a healthy life, said doctors at Hyderabad-based Continental Hospitals on the occasion of ‘International Childhood Cancer Day’ on Saturday.

The World Health Organization’s Global Childhood Cancer Initiative has set a global target to achieve 60 per cent survival rate among the children suffering from cancers by 2030.

The Continental Hospitals said that it is committed to play a constructive role in reaching the benchmark set by the WHO.

The hospital celebrated the young heroes who not just survived childhood cancers but are leading a healthy and successful lives. Their lives are filled with optimism and will surely encourage others with similar ailments to fight until they defeat the cancer in their body.

The doctors stressed the need to ensure that the hope is not lost in cases of childhood cancers. Such children need right advice from doctors and family around to keep the spirits high and help them fight the disease.

“Fighting a deadly disease like cancer at a tender age makes these young one real heroes; and such survivors teach this world the true meaning of challenging the adversary and emerging victorious. At Continental Hospitals, we have witnessed many young heroes who fought the battle and recovered fully to lead the future by setting an example for others,” said Vinodh Maddireddy, Consultant and Radiation Oncologist, Continental Hospitals.

Five years ago, a young boy Prakash (name changed) was diagnosed with pineoblastoma (advanced brain tumor/cancer), a dreaded tumor with a low rate of patient survival. The patient required entire brain and spinal cord radiation and six months of toxic chemotherapy with three very strong drugs. Each passing day and the challenges faced by this brave young man were difficult to see for anyone around him. The most sophisticated hybrid-radiotherapy at Continental Hospitals, helped the patient cope with side-effects; and today after five long years, the young man, now 24-year-old has completely defeated cancer in his body and is leading a happy and successful life.

In another case, a 12-year-old kid Arshad Rahman was diagnosed with high grade glioma of thalamus (a form of brain tumor) and his condition was quite peculiar because the patient was not eligible for a biopsy. Instead, the team at Continental Hospitals took radiotherapy approach in addition to oral chemotherapy. Medical team left no stone unturned to ensure the spirits of the child are kept high, and this resulted in successful treatment of the dreaded disease. Today, the child leads a normal life and attends a normal school and is active like any other kid in his class.