Paediatric cancer/oncology

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The department of Pediatric Oncology at ARHI Hospital deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancers in children. 

A brief overview of Pediatric Oncology: 

Childhood cancer accounts for a small percentage of overall cancer cases, representing less than 1% of all newly diagnosed cancers each year. There is a global disparity; the problem is that there are total 350,000-400,000 cases but the global cure rate is only 35%. It remains one of the leading causes of death in children worldwide.
There are multiple challenges like heterogeneity of health delivery, lack of unified health system like competing priorities, multiple comorbidities; malnutrition/infection, socio-economic challenges to deliver care/accessibility.

Childhood cancer differs from adult cancer in various aspects, including the types of cancers that occur, their biology, and how they respond to treatment.
The main differences are that 

  • There are different types of cancer in children.
  • Children do not have preexisting diseases of aging such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease.
  • They tolerate intense treatment very well.
  • Curing childhood cancer saves more life-years.

The problem is therapy is to growing tissues and organ systems; damage can be for life. There are various barriers to optimal outcome in childhood cancers which are barriers to delivery of care like

  • Decreased manpower
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Inadequate local research
  • Late presentation
  • Poor compliance
  • Illiteracy
  • Barriers to access such as: Financial constraints,Cultural barriers, Lack of cancer centres

Children can develop various types of cancer, including leukemia (the most common), brain tumors, lymphomas, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor (a kidney cancer), and sarcomas (bone or soft tissue cancers). The exact causes of childhood cancer are often unknown. While some genetic factors and environmental exposures may play a role, most cases occur sporadically without a clear predisposing factor.

The symptoms of childhood cancer can vary depending on the type and location of the tumor. Common symptoms may include unexplained weight loss, persistent fever, fatigue, bone pain, headaches, vomiting, changes in vision, and lumps or swelling.

We, at ARHI hospital, while diagnosing childhood cancer , involve a combination of medical history, physical examination, imaging tests (such as X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, PET CT or MRIs), blood tests, and sometimes biopsy (removal of a small tissue sample for examination under a microscope). In our ARHI hospital, treatment for childhood cancer often involves a combination of therapies such as

  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplantation

The specific treatment plan depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as individual factors such as the child's age and overall health. Our pediatric oncology team typically includes pediatric oncologists, ocosurgeons, radiation oncologists, pediatric nurses, social workers, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals. This multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive care addressing not only the medical aspects but also the emotional and psychosocial needs of the child and their family. Advances in treatment have significantly improved the survival rates for many childhood cancers. However, survivors may face long-term health issues related to their cancer treatment, including physical, cognitive, and emotional late effects. Our Pediatric Oncology team provides ongoing support and follow-up care to monitor and manage these late effects. We provide comprehensive supportive care to children with cancer and their families. This includes not only medical treatment but also psychosocial support, education, and resources to help families cope with the challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our pediatric oncology team is dedicated to improving the outcomes and quality of life for children diagnosed with cancer through a combination of specialized medical care, research, and supportive services.

Our Doctors for the Department of Paediatric cancer/oncology

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