A cancer diagnosis is upsetting at any age, but especially so when the patient is a child. It is often one of the most stressful experiences and is a life-changing event for most people. Sadness, worry and fear are the natural emotions during a cancer journey. For many, it is a feeling of hopelessness. For others, it is a time when they become more compassionate and start valuing life, enjoy simple things and take pleasure in whatever they do.
On the occasion of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Jaypee Hospital organized a felicitation programme to celebrate the courage of cancer survivors. The event saw enthusiastic participation of cancer survivors in drawing competition and talent show followed by an interactive session with Dr Esha Kaul, Dr. Nivedita Dhingra and Dr. Silky Jain.
Gracing the event, Dr Manoj Luthra, CEO and Director Cardiac Surgery, Jaypee Hospital Noida said, “Our children are the future of our country & it is our responsibility to ensure their well being. Parents see their own exhaustion, fear, and heartbreak — but they also see a ferocious advocate fighting for their child. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a time when we celebrate advances in childhood cancer treatment and survivorship care and engage new advocates to join in our mission of achieving a day when every child with cancer can live a long and healthy life.”
Explaining about the disease, Dr. Esha Kaul, Executive Consultant, Department of Hemato-Oncology (BMT), Jaypee Hospital Noida said, “Blood cancer affects the production of blood cells. The cancer usually develops in the bone marrow, which is the centre point of blood production. When the stem cell in the bone marrow grows and matures, it produces three types of blood cells- red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Blood cancer hampers blood cell production and causes its abnormal growth. In certain forms of cancer a hereditary predisposition also plays a role in pathogenesis.”
India is home to about 20% of all childhood cancer cases in the world. About 75,000 children, according to WHO figures, get cancer in India every year. 1.6 to 4.8% of all cancer in India is seen in children below 15 years of age.
“Paediatric Leukaemia and lymphoma are the most common form of childhood cancer, and accounts for about 30% of all cancers that affect children and young adults followed by brain tumours. Bone tumours, neuroblastoma, nephroblastoma are less frequent. Brain tumours are the most common type of solid tumour in children. The number of boys presenting to cancer centres in India are far more than girls and this represents our social bias rather than a true male preponderance,” informed Dr. Nivedita Dhingra, Consultant, Department of Hemato – Oncology (BMT) Jaypee Hospital Noida.
In India (and South Asia), the estimate of undiagnosed cancers in children is 49%, which implies that, of thousands aged 0–19 years in India who develop cancer every year, only half are diagnosed, and an even smaller proportion initiate and complete treatment.
Dr. Silky Jain, Associate Consultant, Department of Paediatric Hemato-Oncology (BMT) said, “In the last three decades, treatment for childhood cancers has improved in leaps and strides. This progress is mostly due to advances in diagnostics, supportive care, multimodal chemotherapy treatment protocols, surgical clearance with precision and high technology radiotherapy delivery. Early diagnosis and right treatment can ensure that most patients become completely cancer-free. Worldwide, close to 80% of childhood cancer patients are now long-term survivors. Cure rate in children are much higher than adults as they are more resilient towards strong cancer treatment. Having said that, it completely depends on the type of cancer a patient has, his/her age, and the stage of the diseases, which implies how aggressively the cancer has spread.”
Jaypee Hospital is at the forefront in laying down the benchmark for accessible and affordable world-class healthcare with the best of experienced doctors supported by an infrastructure that consists of the latest and most advanced medical technology. Today, patients from India as well as across the globe find hope at Jaypee Hospital.