The 15th of Feb i.e. today is the International Childhood Cancer Day. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of children who have cancer and also to advocate for change. One of the huge challenges facing developing countries including India is timely diagnosis, referral and treatment. Lack of awareness among parents as well as health professionals hampers timely presentation. Absence of clear referral pathways further delays the diagnosis and treatment. The child and its family often stagger from hospital to hospital, city to city before hopefully reaching an appropriate treatment centre. Besides the cost and frustration for the family, a delayed presentation is often linked with advance stage at presentation, particularly in solid tumours. This adversely affects the outcome with greater treatment intensity, greater supportive care, greater costs, greater treatment toxicity, greater treatment abandonment rates and poorer outcomes.
The focus of various international (SIOP, UICC, ICCCPO) and national (Cankids...Kidscan) organisations this year is on Access to Care and as part of the access to care Campaign, early warning signs posters created jointly by SIOP/ICCCPO and the International Union for Cancer Control (UICC) have been translated into Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil and Malyalam by Cankids. In addition, Cankids have also released a site map of centers where children are being treated for cancer in India.
Early Warning Signs of Cancer in a Child
Treatment Centres in India