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International Childhood Cancer Day
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-02-15 08:12:47
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I think one of the most horrible things in visiting a hospital for cancer treatments is not what is going on with you and your body but the faces of the kids you meet and that strange reaction, plead that comes instinctively; if it is to take somebody take me …not this little kid!

I think we can give this …special care for all these kids and embrace them like they are our own and there are many ways to do so even with a smile. Donations to organizations help, toys to hospitals help, volunteer help to entertain them helps, a good thought helps. This is a very unfair battle they give and they need every help!

When diagnosed early enough, and treated with the appropriate protocols, approximately 70% of childhood cancers are curable. 

However, today only 20% of the world's children benefit from advanced medical care. 

Children living in the underdeveloped countries account for 80% of the world's population of children. Some of these children have cancer and are currently denied the right to hope for a cure.

The treatment and care of childhood cancer requires a whole interdisciplinary team, to provide not just the medical treatment of the child (which may include surgery and radiation), but also the psychosocial support for the child and the whole family. 

Close cooperation between the medical team at the hospital and the parents of the child is considered to be an essential component of the successful treatment and care of the child. 

Parent groups have an integral and vital part to play, in supporting the children and the families. 

In less developed countries, very few children receive effective treatment for Childhood Cancer.  One major reason for this is that, if the disease is diagnosed at all, it is frequently at such a late stage as to make the prognosis for successful treatment very poor. 

In South Africa, there are several excellent treatment centres, which use internationally accepted protocols, and achieve results comparable to hospitals in North America and Europe for similar stages of diagnosis of the illness. 

However, in some of the communities, there may be over 80% of children diagnosed with tumours in the late stages, compared with some 15% in developed countries. 

In an attempt to improve this situation, the South African Children's Cancer Study Group, which includes all of  the specialist paediatric oncologists in the country, has prepared a set of Warning Signs. 

These have been made into posters, in English and Zulu, which are being distributed to the Primary Health Care Clinics across the country, starting initially in the northernmost provinces. 

A toll-free help line has been installed at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where the sisters or doctors at the primary health clinics can phone for advice as to whether the child needs to be referred for further investigation, and which unit they should be sent to. 

Dr Stelios Poyiadjis, one of the specialist paediatric oncologists at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (in Soweto, Johannesburg), has been very instrumental in the development of these Warning Signs.  He has visited the staff in the primary health care clinics to educate them about the Warning Signs. 

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chameleons2010-02-16 02:41:36
good causes are essential to maintain the illusion that we are actually good people. 'Despise Thy neighbour and friend while releasing propaganda to defend all the good causes in the world' St Matthew 3:5

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