DOCTOR CALLING: By Dr Kevin Hill
A worldwide campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer has recently been supported by the NHS South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Three-quarters of children with cancer are now cured, compared with around a quarter in the late 1960s
In the UK an average of around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, that’s 30 children every week. Around one-in-500 children in the UK will develop some form of cancer by 14 years of age.
Leukaemia is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in children. Leukaemia, brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours and lymphomas account for more than two-thirds of all cancers diagnosed in children.
Five-year survival for children’s cancer has more than doubled since the late 1960s.
It is estimated that there are at least 33,000 people in the UK alive having been diagnosed with a childhood cancer and survived more than five years. Three-quarters of children with cancer are now cured, compared with around a quarter in the late 1960s.
We are joining with groups across the world to raise awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer. These include the importance of early diagnosis and the difficulties – physical and emotional – that children face throughout their treatment.
Our thoughts will be with the children who bravely and courageously fight cancer and their families who support them. We also remember the volunteers, staff and medical practitioners who passionately serve and dedicate their time to battling childhood cancer.
Dramatic improvements in the treatment and management of childhood cancer over the last four decades mean that many children diagnosed with cancer today have an excellent chance of being cured of their disease.
However, it’s important to remember that despite the best efforts of everyone there are some families who have to bear the painful loss of a precious child.
For more information on childhood cancer and for a factsheet visit: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/childhoodcancer/