Monthly Archives: September 2021

Cancer

IS CHILDHOOD CANCER CURABLE? GET THE EXPERT VIEW.

It is truly heart wrenching as a parent to know that one’s child has cancer and can serve as a great blow. However, over-reaction needs to be avoided and facts need to be understood. This is where you need expert advice from the best hospital in Ratnagiri.

Did you know that cancer is a leading cause of death for children and adolescents, particularly in high-income countries? Depending on which country the child lives in, the likelihood of survival changes. In high-income countries, for example, survival rates are as high as 80% while in low or middle-income countries only 15-45% stand a chance of being completely cured.

Why is this you ask? Well, in lower-income countries, unfortunately, diagnosis may be delayed or inaccurate or the therapy itself could be inaccessible to the child. Sometimes, treatment is abandoned early or the child dies from the side effects of it or even a relapse. The solution for all these sad situations is just one – getting access to essential medicines in time and improving technologies that can detect cancer in time.

What causes cancer in children? Cancer, as you know, can occur to anyone at any age and can affect any part of the body. Genetic changes in single cells that grow into a mass and invade other parts of the body, if untreated – is how we understand adult cancer. But strangely, we don’t have a known cause of cancer in children. What we do know is that cancer prevention efforts in children should focus on behaviors that will prevent the child from getting cancer when he or she becomes an adult. At Onco-Life Cancer Centre, which is the best hospital in Ratnagiri, we put as much or if not more emphasis on the early detection of child cancer, as the treatment of it.

Infections could be the root cause:  Chronic infections like HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, and malaria are known to be risk factors for childhood cancer. These come into play, especially in low and middle-income countries. That’s why there is such a great emphasis on child vaccination – against hepatitis B for example to prevent liver cancer, and against human papillomavirus for example, to prevent cervical cancer.

Early Diagnosis is key: Since it is generally not possible to prevent child cancer, the most effective way to reduce it would be to focus on a speedy and accurate diagnosis followed by effective and stringent therapy.  Early diagnosis consists of three things: awareness of the symptoms by the family, accurate and timely diagnosis by the hospital, and prompt and effective treatment by the doctors. Something that the best hospital in Ratnagiri – Onco-Life Cancer Centre specializes in. Obviously, early diagnosis goes a long way in making the survival chances higher and the suffering lesser. As with adults, the treatment regimen may include a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

If you’re wondering about screening for children, let us tell you that it is generally not helpful. High-risk populations can consider it for some select cases – for example, eye cancers caused by a mutation that is inherited. Genetic causes of cancer are relevant only for a handful of children – which is why we discourage screening programs for children.

What does the treatment include? Well, as we stated before the standard therapies include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. Since we’re dealing with kids, we constantly monitor their physical as well as cognitive growth and nutrition, which requires a specialized team to be put into place. At the best hospital in Ratnagiri, you never have to worry about an effective diagnosis, essential medicines, the best pathology labs, blood products, radiation therapy, the latest technology, and psychosocial and supportive counseling and care.

Hope and the right approach can make a big difference. You’ll be glad to know that 80% of childhood cancers can be treated if cancer services are available. Palliative care goes a long way in relieving the symptoms caused by cancer and improves the quality of life for children and their families. Even if the child can’t be cured, relief from suffering can be avoided. Pediatric palliative care is a core component of our expertise at Onco-Life Cancer Centre, one of the best hospitals in Ratnagiri.

The heartening news is that with advances in medicine happening every day, childhood cancer survivors are living longer. Today, more than 80% of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer can expect to live five years or more. So take heart, and always remember that we are always by your side – as one of the best hospitals in Ratnagiri, Onco-Life Cancer Centre is here for you.