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Experts harp on early detection, treatment of childhood cancers



Experts harp on early detection, treatment of childhood cancers

By Justina Auta

Some medical experts on Thursday advised parents on early detection, comprehensive treatment and adherence to medical advice to improve survival rates for children with cancer.

Experts gave their advice at a zoom meeting hosted by the Psycho-Oncology Society of Nigeria (POSON), on the topic: “Childhood Cancer: What All Parents Should Know”.

WHO says about 400,000 children and adolescents under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year, the common types of which include leukemia (cancer of the blood), brain cancer, lymphomas and solid tumors.

Professor Biobele Brown, pediatric hematology / oncology consultant, University College Hospital, Ibadan, said survival rates of children with cancers were high with early medical intervention, adherence to medical advice and comprehensive treatment.

Brown described cancer as a tumor that spreads throughout the body, usually causing swelling or unusual lumps that were not caused by any injuries.

“Some parents, when they see swelling in their child’s body, assume it is an injury from a fall.

“It’s safer not to assume that all swelling is caused by injury; it is best to take the child to the hospital for a correct diagnosis, ” he said.

He also advised parents to be on the lookout for any abnormal bleeding or easy bruising, frequent drop in blood levels, and rapid weight loss for medical evaluation and treatment of any illness that may be. be diagnosed.

According to him, some children die of cancer because of a missing or late diagnosis, incomplete or abandoned treatment or continued healing through religious interventions.

“The reason some children die from cancer isn’t because drugs aren’t available or the disease wasn’t caught early, it’s because some parents stop treatment halfway through the process. they find that the child’s health has improved.

“If the cancer treatments are not finished, the disease comes back in force and it becomes more difficult to manage,” he said.

He also stressed the need for parents whose children are suffering from cancer to keep their environment free from infections due to the reduced immunity of the patient and should also provide psychological support to the children.

Brown also stressed the need to educate parents and caregivers on the proper medications and dosage to be given to children, the proper nutritional value and how to manage children, especially in severe cases.

While commending the government for including some anti-cancer drugs in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), he called for more support to reduce the financial burden on parents and provide adequate medical facilities.

For her part, meeting host and chair, POSON, Dr Elizabeth Akin-Odanye, stressed the need for greater awareness on childhood cancers to enable people to identify signs and symptoms as well as to seek appropriate treatment.

“We don’t hear enough about childhood cancer; pain related to care and treatment, especially for children and their parents, ” she noted.

Akin-Odanye, while reiterating the organization’s commitment to raising awareness of childhood cancer, called for more support to be able to cope with this affliction. (www.)

Source: NAN

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