250-300 new Pediatric Cancer Patients coming to AIIMS Bhubaneswar every year

Bhubaneswar: Through a multidisciplinary approach, the department of Medical Oncology/Hematology at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, has been rendering holistic, quality and affordable care to the children with cancer.

This is the only governmental institution providing specialized cancer care to children by trained faculty in this part of the country, said AIIMS Bhubaneswar Executive Director Dr. Ashutosh Biswas during a special event organised in the national institute today to increase awareness on Childhood Cancer.

We cater not only to the state of Odisha, but also pediatric patients from the nearby states like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The department has registered more than 1200 children with cancer and currently treats around 250-300 new patients per year, added Dr. Biswas.
AIIMS Bhubaneswar is going to start Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the Medical Oncology/Hematology department for these needy children. The outcome in pediatric cancers has changed from seemingly incurable diseases to survival exceeding 80-90% in the last 50 years, said Dr. Sonali Mohapatra, Addl. Prof. Dept. of Medical Oncology/Hematology AIIMS Bhubaneswar. In the current era, more than 75-80% of childhood cancer patients can be cured completely, with survival exceeding 90% in certain cancers like acute lymphoblastic leukemia (blood cancer), lymphomas and renal tumours like Wilms Tumour, informed Dr. Mohapatra.

To increase awareness on various aspects of childhood cancer, the department today organised series of programmes like walkathon, patient/parent and doctor interaction. The event graced by Executive Director Dr. Biswas along with Medical Superintendent Dr. Dillip Kumar Parida, Dr. Debasish Sahoo, Dr. Kanishka Das, Dr. Somanath Padhi, Dr. B B Tripathy, Dr. Subrat Sahu, Drr. Aditya Manekar Sahoo, Dr. Akash Pati. Coordinated by Dr. Sonali Mohapatra the programmes were also attended by students, employees and representatives from NGOs and social organisations.

However, pediatric oncology in India is still a work in progress. The outcomes in Indian subcontinent often lag behind the western counterparts. Various factors like delayed diagnosis, delayed referral, treatment abandonment and poor socioeconomic and educational conditions contribute to the suboptimal outcomes. Thus, an integrated, multidisciplinary and holistic approach is the need of the hour to overcome these obstacles.

At AIIMS Bhubaneswar, the department also integrates academics and research into clinical care; DM course in Pediatric Hematology Oncology has been started for capacity building and further improvement in patient care, academics and research. AIIMS, Bhubaneswar is the second Institution after PGIMER, Chandigarh to provide such course in India.

In collaboration with various Govt. and non-government organizations (NGOs), the national Institute also provides social/financial support and shelter homes to the poor and needy children to enable them to complete therapy.
It may be noted here that September is observed as Childhood Cancer awareness month worldwide, and the Golden Ribbon is the dedicated logo associated with it.