The Indian Council of Medical Research’s figures suggest that childhood cancer constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in the country.
According to experts, out of the total cancer cases in India, almost 3-5 per cent cases are of childhood cancer. Experts have raised concern over the abysmal figures. The figures, experts say, indicate that the cure rate of childhood cancer is very low owing to the lack of available data.
Speaking at an awareness program in Kolkata, Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala compared the cure rate with that in the developing countries. “The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centers, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” news agency IANS quoted Agarwala as saying.
The Indian Council of Medical Research’s figures suggest that childhood cancer constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in the country. Agarwala also said that a lot of such cases still go unaddressed in our society.
One of the primary reasons behind the low cure rate is that a large section of the society still lacks access to cancer cure institutes which results in a late diagnosis of the disease owing to financial crunch.
“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala added.
However, he said that 5 per cent of cancer can be majorly cured if proper treatment is given to the patients.
The two common forms of cancer that occur in children are Leukaemia and retinoblastoma.
Agarwala also advised parents to keep the right measures and be aware from the beginning. “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain, and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”, IANS quoted him as saying.