Childhood Cancer is a catastrophic disease, If untreated it is potentially fatal. It afflicts all communities. Based on recent data it is estimated that 10-12 children per 100,000 population will develop cancer every year. Hence in India with a population of over a billion it is roughly estimated that about 50,000 children develop cancer each year and many either go undiagnosed or without adequate treatment. Of these a mere 15-20% i.e. 10,000 children are able to reach a cancer unit. And among the latter 40 to 50% i.e. 5,000 drop out of treatment. Most children therefore die without proper therapy. This is the reason that the lay public as well many in the medical fraternity believe that cancer is potentially incurable in India.
It is worthwhile knowing that of the 8.5 lakh cases of cancer that occur annually in India, only 3-5 % occur in children. These cancers are very fast growing but also very sensitive to proper treatment. Although treatment is complex and often long, cure is a very realistic and practically achievable goal.
Although the actual number of children who develop cancer is small, the cure rate is high and total number of productive life years saved by curing these children is significantly high and therefore the effort in treating appropriately is all the more worthwhile and fulfilling.
Treatment and Services for Children with Cancer and Blood Diseases
This specialized service comprises of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Outpatient Clinics and Day Care Unit, Inpatient Wards and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit.
The Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at NCRI is unique in EATERN PART OF INDIA as it offers comprehensive oncology care to all children up to the age of 18 years. It is a place where doctors send some of their most challenging and sick patients. The department has a dedicated team of experts in the field of pediatric hematology / oncology. The team constituted by experienced pediatric oncologists, hematologist pediatric oncosurgeon, radiation oncologist, pediatric oncology residents and nurses, Child psychologist and playroom teacher work hard to ensure that best care is delivered to every child.
Children with all types of hematological and solid organ malignancy receive specialized oncology services here. The various type of cancers treated in the department include leukemia (ALL, AML, CML), Lumphomas (non-hodgkin’s and hodgkin’s) as well as all pediatric solid tumors like neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, bone and soft tissue sarcoma, brain tumor, hepatoblastoma, testicular and ovarian tumors etc. Patients with different hematologic problems like severe aplastic anemia, MDS, hemolytic anemias, chronic ITP, etc also managed.
Recognizing the special needs of children with cancer, the hospital has designated areas for pediatric patients. In the outpatient area there is a special clinic for children with a separate waiting area and Pediatric Daycare facility (for outpatient short term chemotherapy and blood transfusions) manned by pediatric nurses. The in-patient area has two Pediatric wards as well as a playroom for children. The Bone Marrow transplant unit is well equipped to handle pediatric autologous and allogenic BMT’s and several BM and PBSC transplants have been successfully achieved by the institute. There is a dedicated team of experts in the field of pediatric oncology which includes pediatric oncologist, pediatric onco surgeon, radiation oncologist, pediatric onco nurses and the team enjoys the expertise of supportive departments.
The service treat all children and adolescents up to the age to 18 yrs, with Leukemias, Lymphomas, Brain tumors, Bone and soft tissue sarcomas, all other pediatric solid tumors in addition to a variety of Hematological conditions like Immune thrombocytopenia, Thalassemia, Inborn Errors of Metabolism and Bone Marrow Failure. Patients have the benefits of comprehensive multispecialty care including chemotherapy, pediatric surgical oncology, radiotherapy and supportive services (pediatric oncology nurse co-ordinator, dietician, counselor, teacher and play therapist). All these provided by a highly specialized, trained, experienced and dedicated team of experts.
These are held on all working days, seven days a week, Monday to Sunday