80% of pediatric cancer cases are treatable: Experts

Bhubaneswar: Nearly four lakh children worldwide are afflicted by cancer every year of which 80 per cent cases can be successfully treated by trained personnel backed by proper infrastructure, experts said at a programme organised at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here to mark the World Childhood Cancer Day on Tuesday.

Around 50,000 children get the disease in India but most of them can be cured with early detection and proper treatment, Dr. Saroj Prasad Panda, Professor of Pediatric Oncology at the hospital, said.

The success rate in treatment can improve with increased awareness, early diagnosis and treatment, availability of trained personnel and putting in place the needed infrastructure, he said.

The different types of childhood cancers included Leukemia and Lymphoma (blood related cancers), Brain Tumours, Bone Tumours (Osteosarcoma and Ewing Sarcoma), cancer of the muscle (Rhabdomyosarcoma), Neuroblastoma, Wilm’s tumour (cancer of the kidney) and Hepatoblastoma of liver, Dr. Panda said.

 The main modalities of treatment for childhood cancers included Chemotherapy, Surgery and Radiotherapy. “After getting cured of the cancer every child has the potential to grow into adulthood and live a normal life in the society,” he said.

Dr. Swetapadma Dash, CEO of SUM Ultimate Medicare, who attended the programme as the chief guest, said parents of cancer afflicted children had a major role to play in the treatment protocol and show patience. “They must show mental resilience in this battle which can ultimately help the child’s recovery process,” she said.

She praised the doctors and medical staff of IMS and SUM Hospital for their dedicated efforts to treat children with cancer.

Prof. Pushparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital,  said IMS and SUM Hospital had excellent infrastructure and experienced doctors in the Pediatric Oncology department which was greatly aiding the successful treatment of patients. He praised the work of the Pediatric Oncologists in the hospital.

Dr. Nirmalya Deo Pradhan, Associate Professor in Pediatric Oncology department, said the key to successful treatment was early detection and treatment in a proper set up. Children with cancer should be treated at Pediatric Oncology units where trained Pediatric Oncologists are available.

“Parents need not worry about the treatment as excellent facilities were available in our own state,” he said.

The theme for this year’s World Childhood Cancer Day is ‘Better survival is achievable through your hands.’

The programme was also addressed by Dr. Sunil Agrawal, Head of the Surgical Oncology department, Dr. Soumya Surath Panda, Head of Medical Oncology department and Dr. Mamata Devi Mohanty, Head of the Pediatrics department. The programme was held with the cooperation of Lions Club Lotus. Tiny tots, under treatment for cancer, also performed on the occasion featuring in a ramp show and other cultural programmes. Those who participated in a drawing and painting competition held on the occasion were presented with prizes.