Over 80 per cent of childhood cancers are curable

Dr Parinitha Gutha
February 15, 2021

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Children’s Cancers are rare compared to those in adults.

Worldwide, around 3 lakh children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every year and 80% of them live in developing countries.

As infectious diseases are becoming more controlled in children, cancer is emerging to be the leading cause of death after accidental deaths. 

The good news is that most of the children’s cancers are now curable, but many factors are acting against achieving this result. Because they have their uniqueness, both biologically and psychologically, they must be treated in dedicated Pediatric Cancer Units to achieve results.

Types of Childhood Cancers

More than a dozen kinds of childhood cancers and a hundred different subtypes exist. 

Blood cancers, brain cancers, and neuroblastomas account for more than half of the cancers in children.

The most common childhood cancer is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). In the 1950s, almost every child with ALL died. But today, about 90% of children with ALL survive.

Causes

The cause is usually unknown and not linked to any environmental or genetic factors apart from a small proportion (5%) which is caused by an inherited genetic condition.

In adults, the mutations reflect the cumulative effects of aging, long-term exposure to cancer-causing agents. However, it has been difficult to identify potential environmental causes of childhood cancer.

The analogy is that most cancers develop as a result of mutations in genes that lead to uncontrolled cell growth.

Treatment

It is important to know that Children's cancers are not always treated like adult cancers.

Children should not only survive, but thrive. To achieve this, Cancer needs to be diagnosed early and treated in dedicated Paediatric Oncology Units where the team is focused and qualified to respond to children's needs. Many individuals are not aware that this expertise exists and that many childhood cancers are handled successfully.

The types of treatment that a child with cancer receives will depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Common treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy, and bone marrow transplantation.

What is the outlook?

Most childhood cancers are highly curable, provided prompt and effective treatment is accessible. 

In resource-rich countries, three out of four children survive (about 80%).

The Survival gap…

Unfortunately, this is not the case in India. Around 80% of children with cancer live in developing countries and more than half die. There are no cancer registries to give us accurate statistics, children are often not diagnosed, or diagnosed too late, and limited access to information and life-saving treatment. 

However, the situation is becoming more hopeful with the availability of dedicated Paediatric cancer Units providing excellent standards of care.

Children’s Cancers are curable and they are no less important than children fighting malaria, dengue, malnutrition, and other causes of death.

Let us stand up to cancer and strive to save our children!

 

Dr Parinitha Gutha is a Senior Consultant, Paediatric Oncology/Hematology at American Oncology Institute, Hyderabad

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News Network
June 10,2021

New Delhi, June 10: India saw a massive jump of 6148 fresh fatalities due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours, as the country's death toll rose to 359,676, the Union ministry of health and family welfare’s (MoHFW) data showed on Thursday morning. This is the highest number of fatalities recorded in India due to the Covid-19 pandemic in a single-day.

The number of new cases remained below the 100,000-mark for a third straight day, as 94,052 people tested positive in this period. However, this also marks the second consecutive rise in fresh cases, though marginal. With this latest single-day jump, India’s cumulative Covid-19 infection tally has risen to 29,183,121, the data showed.

The humongous rise in daily fatalities could be attributed to the revised figures given by the Bihar government. On Wednesday, Bihar initially reported 20 new deaths, and an overall death toll of 5,478. Later, a backlog of 3,951 fatalities was added, taking the actual death toll to 9429.

According to Thursday's data, 151,367 more people recovered from the disease, taking the total number of such cases to 27,655,493, while the recovery rate improved to 94.76%. Active cases fell further to 1,167,952, a decline of 63,463 cases, and are currently at 1,167,952, comprising 4% of the total number of positive cases.

Also on Thursday, the government-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) put the number of samples tested for Covid-19 on June 9 at 2,004,690, as against 1,985,967 tests on June 8. A total of samples have been tested for the infection 372,198253, according to ICMR’s data.

On June 8, the Union health ministry reported 86,498 fresh infections from the preceding 24 hours; this was for the first time since April 6 that the country’s Covid-19 tally saw an addition of less than 100,000 new cases in a single-day. A day later, the number of new cases rose marginally to 92,596. The number of daily fatalities on the two days stood at 2219 and 2123 respectively.

India has the second-highest cumulative Covid-19 cases in the world, after the United States. In terms of related deaths, it is third, behind the US and Brazil, respectively.

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News Network
June 5,2021

Bengaluru, June 5: The state government on Saturday shunted out Mysuru deputy commissioner Rohini Sindhuri and Mysuru City Corporation commissioner Shilpa Nag following their ugly public spat over the past few days.

Bagadi Gautham, a 2009 batch IAS officer, replaces Sindhuri as Mysuru DC while G Lakshmikanh Reddy, 2015 batch IAS officer, takes over from Shilpa.

While Sindhuri has been posted commissioner of Hindu religious and charitable endowments, Bengaluru, Nag will be director of e-governance in rural development and panchayat raj department.

The government was contemplating action against them after Shilpa resigned from the IAS over alleged harassment by Sindhuri. It had also launched a probe into the construction of a gym and swimming pool at the DC's residence allegedly in violation of heritage laws. The spat between the officers was unseemly, coming as it did amid a huge spike in Covid cases in Mysuru district.

Among the other transfers, P Rajendra Cholan has been posted as managing director, Bescom, and will hold concurrent charge as special commissioner (health and IT), BBMP. 

Resignation and U-turn

Shilpa Nag on Thursday had announced her resignation from the service, citing harassment and humiliation from Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri. However on Saturday she took a U-turn from her decision. She decided to resume work from Sunday.

It has to be noted that Nag had taken her resignation papers to Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar during his visit to Mysuru on Friday but, the CS did not accept the paper and suggested her to reconsider the decision.

“I have sent resignation papers through register post and also e-mailed it,” Nag said. District in-charge Minster S T Somashekar and others suggested her not to resign, she said.

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News Network
June 7,2021

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Bengaluru, June 7: An explosion in a molten plastic paint machine near the underpass of the second terminal of the Kempegowda International Airport caused injury to six workers early Monday, the police said.

According to the airport police, two of the six workers, Ajay Kumar and Siraj are critical after suffering over 40 per cent burns.

The others were identified as Avinash, Goutam, Prashanth, Nagesh -- all have been admitted to Victoria Hospital.

The police said that the workers were using thermoplastic road marking machine to paint the zebra crossing and signages on the roads leading upto the airport terminal.

The exact cause of fire is still not known but prima facie investigations have revealed that a "substantial amount" of paint vapour and mist could have been released causing the accident.

"Perhaps storage of paint material, overspray could have drift into surrounding areas, mixing with the air and accumulating in enclosed or unventilated areas leading to a blast," the police explained.

The blaze spread to the underpass in no time. "Security guards rushed to the spot after hearing the workers' cries and took them to hospital. Fire-fighters soon arrived at the scene but it wasn't before two hours that they doused the flames," the police said.

This is the first fire accident to have happened during the construction of the airport's second terminal, which has been going on for the past few years.

The police said that they have registered a complaint against the company under contract for negligence and failure to take precautions for the safety of workers.

The Kempegowda International Airport, the third-biggest airport in India, began constructing a garden terminal called T2 to accommodate the increasing passenger traffic in 2019 but due to prolonged lockdown and outbreak of pandemic in March 2020, the project is likely to be completed in 2022 second quarter instead of March this year.

The terminal will feature trees, small gardens and ponds with local species of plants. It is expected to serve approximately 25 million passengers a year.

The terminal's design is inspired from Bengaluru's ubiquitous tag as a 'Garden City'.

Passageways throughout the terminal will connect the passengers with nature. The ceiling at the entrance, check-in and security area will feature hanging bells.

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