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Home News and Update Year 2010 Leukaemia Most Prevalent Form Of Cancer Among Children At PGI

Leukaemia Most Prevalent Form Of Cancer Among Children At PGI

Indian Express
15 October 2010
By Majid Jahangir
Chandigarh, India

Next most common type of cancer is lymphoma, followed by the killer disease of the eyes and kidneys AS THE number of patients attending the Oncology Unit of the Advanced Paediatric Center (APC) of the PostGraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, increases with every passing year, blood cancer is turning out to be the most prevalent form of cancer among children. After blood cancer, the next most common types of cancers in children are those of the lymph nodes (lymphoma), eyes and kidneys.

Leukaemia Most Prevalent Form Of Cancer Among Children At PGI
According to data available with PGIMER, last year 350 children were diagnosed with cancer at the Advanced Paediatrics Centre’s Oncology Unit.

"Of these, 45 per cent had blood cancer (leukaemia)," Associate Professor with the Oncology Unit of the Advanced Paediatric Center, PGIMER, Dr Deepak Bansal said. And from January 1 to September 30 this year, PGIMER diagnosed 295 cases of cancer among children.

"Of these cases, blood cancers was diagnosed in 110, which is 37 percent of the total cases. The next most common were cancer of the lymph nodes (lymphoma) which was found in 46 patients, followed by cancer of the eye in 23 patients and kidney cancer among 18 children," informed Dr Bansal.

The senior doctor said that there are no specific reasons for cancer among children compared to adults. "The presentation of cancer in children is variable and it often contributes to a de layed diagnosis. The large majority of cancers in children can fortunately be treated, particularly if the child reaches the appropriate center well in time," he said.

A senior professor with the Oncology Unit of PGIMER’s APC said that the number of child patients is increasing with every passing year. The total number of patients who attended the Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology clinic of the Advanced Pediatric Centre in 2001 was 4800. This number has increased by 60 percent to 7700 in the last nine years.

" More patients are coming to the PGIMER from various states. And the reasons for increasing patients include a higher level of awareness among patients and doctors about the disease," Senior Professor in the child cancer department at PGIMER Prof R K Marwaha said.

"Better cure rates, increasing affordability and increasing population are the other reasons for more patients attending the unit." Marwaha said that cancer among children is more curable compared to adults.

"Contrary to what one might expect, children can tolerate the drugs (chemotherapy) more easily than adults. The chances of cure too are sig nificantly better in children than in adults," he said.

The treatment of child cancer patients lasts for two to three years and costs approximately Rs 2 lakh–3 lakh.
SPOT THE WARNING SIGNS Unexplained fever for more then 2 weeks Inadequate response to antibiotics Anaemia and skin bleeds Progressively enlarging lymph nodes in neck, arm pit and groin Aches and pain in joints; unexplained limping White eye reflex/ protrusion/ squint in eye Change in behaviour, persisting early morning headache & vomiting

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