Doctor: Early diagnosis can beat cancer in kids


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MANGALURU: Kasturba Medical College Hospital, Attavar, will spread awareness about childhood cancer by observing International Childhood Cancer Day at the hospital on Thursday with the message that childhood cancer is curable. The hospital incidentally is the only such facility in the district to have a pediatric hemato oncologist, who provides specialized cancer treatment to children.

 Dr Harsha Prasad, pediatric hemato oncologist of the hospital, told TOI that not many are aware of the fact that even children are prone to contracting cancer and if diagnosed early, the chances of recovery from cancer are much more. "If childhood leukemia, brain tumour and lymphoma are detected within eight weeks and treatment is initiated, such children respond rapidly to the treatment," he said adding that in western countries eight out 10 such cases are successfully treated compared to half or less than that in India. 
 Not totally ruling out the chances of adult relapse of treated cases, Dr Harsha said 10 to 20% of childhood leukemia cases could relapse at a later stage. As far as brain tumours are concerned, the chances of cure is 50-60%, he said, adding that this type sees a 30% chance of relapse. Such being the case, every effort should be made to create awareness about childhood cancer and ICCD is the platform that helps medical institutions reach out to the stakeholders through outreach activities.

 Dr Pralhad Kushtagi, in-charge medical superintendent, said the hospital will observe the day with a half-day program for children that Alester D’Souza, Mr India runner-up from Mangaluru will inaugurate. This will be followed by fun activities for children suffering from cancer as well as for children who survived cancer.


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