Pediatric cancer can be cured if diagnosed early, says expert

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Pediatric cancer
International Childhood Cancer Day programme organised at SUM Hospital.

Bhubaneswar: Most childhood cancers can be cured if diagnosed early and treated appropriately, Prof. (Dr.) Saroj Panda, in-charge of Pediatric
Hematology and Oncology unit at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here, said.

“Children respond well to chemotherapy and show minimal side effects compared to similar treatment in adults,” Prof. (Dr.) Panda said while speaking at the International Childhood Cancer Day programme organised at the hospital.

The most common form of cancer seen in children is Leukemia or blood cancer which is highly curable with appropriate treatment, he said. Prof. (Dr.) Panda said the Pediatric Oncology department of IMS and SUM Hospital had diagnosed more than 1100 cases of pediatric cancer during the last
five years of whom around 800 cases had been treated by the medical team.

“Till now, treatment in respect of 450 cases had been completed successfully while 210 children were presently under treatment,” he said.

“The cancer in all these 450 cases was in remission and we expect these children to live normal lives,” Prof. (Dr.) Panda said adding pediatric cancer cases accounted for about five per cent of all carcinoma cases. The other forms of cancer which mostly afflicted children included lymphoma, brain tumour, bone tumour, kidney and liver tumour and retinoblastoma (eye tumour). The mode of treatment comprised chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, he said.

“It generally takes six months to two years for completion of treatment and the approximate expenditure varies between Rs 50,000 to Rs five lakh depending upon the disease,” he said adding there are 25 trained pediatric oncologists in the country of whom four are located in Odisha.

Two of these pediatric oncologists are serving in IMS and SUM Hospital which has all facilities for pediatric cancer treatment under a single roof, Prof.
(Dr.) Panda said.

Around 100 children, either cured from the disease or still under treatment, and their parents attended the programme which included comedy by famous comedian Tattwa Prakash Satpathy, better known as Papu Pampam, a magic show by Jiban Mishra.

The dean of IMS and SUM Hospital, Prof. (Dr.) Sanghamitra Mishra, medical superintendent Prof. (Dr.) Pusparaj Samantasinhar, head of the Pediatrics department Prof. (Dr.) Mamata Devi Mohanty and founder of E3 Charitable Trust Ritu Modi addressed the programme. Dr. Nirmalya Deo Pradhan, pediatric oncologist, conducted the programme which was organised by the hospital in association with E3 Charitable Trust.

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