Most people may not relate Cancer to young kids, but the reality is that globally more than 416,500 children are diagnosed and 142,300 are estimated to die from the disease each year.
Though in hard numbers and as a percentage of the global population it’s a relatively small portion, each life lost is its own world of heartache and missed potential.
The science and the facts dispel the common myth that cancer doesn’t affect children and that it is a disease of old age. This misconception leads to a delay in diagnosis, making it difficult to achieve cure.
The masses need to be educated that cancer can affect anyone, from a new born to an elderly person.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, many parents think that cancer cannot be cured and therefore do not make enough effort at treatment.
A study published in the Lancet Journal found that underdiagnosis and lack of access to treatment facilities contributes to death and disability, wiping out those millions of healthy years when children and their families could have instead been spending their resources, time and energies in other ways. It is not just bad for them, it’s bad for their communities and nations.
The study found that children with cancer in low- and lower-middle-income countries have much lower survival rates, with less than 40 per cent still alive five years after diagnosis. In wealthy countries, around 80 per cent of children survive five years after their cancer is identified.
Most childhood cancers are curable but children and their families often face challenges in gaining access to treatment facilities and affording the cost of life-saving care.