Page 0106

PAEDIATRIC CANCERS

CURING PAEDIATRIC CANCER IN

THE DEVELOPING WORLD

TIM EDEN, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF PAEDIATRIC AND ADOLESCENT ONCOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF

MANCHESTER, UK AND FOUNDING MEDICAL TRUSTEE, WORLD CHILD CANCER

As cancer emerges as a significant threat to life in low- and middle-income countries,

targeted external aid through genuine twinning partnerships can make a difference. The

local medical/nursing teams must determine the aims and objectives and the role of

outsiders is to provide mentorship, advocacy and support based on the experiences we have

gained from the advances made in high-income countries.

O

ne of the remarkable success stories of the last 4–5 Table 1: Obstacles to be overcome in starting the treatment of young

people with cancer

decades has been the improvement in survival for

children with cancer from little chance of cure to 75 Challenges to overcome

1

– 80% long term survival in 2012 . However, of the 160– ‰ Individual family, community, national poverty

200,000 children who develop cancer worldwide annually, ‰ Other overwhelming societal priorities

2,3

access to diagnosis and care is barely 20% . Consequently at ‰ Natural and man-made disasters

least 100,000 die each year undiagnosed or untreated and ‰ Lack of cancer incidence registration

3,4

most receive no relief of their symptoms . Yet many childhood ‰ Lack of awareness /perceptions of incurability

malignancies are sensitive to relatively cheap cytotoxic ‰ Lack of access to diagnosis/treatment

regimens (eg Burkitts lymphoma, nephroblastoma, ‰ Lack of palliative care

retinoblastoma). Cure for many children is possible4. How can ‰ Lack of trained staff/ability to retain staff

we rectify the inequality of care and “chance of life” between ‰ Infrastructural problems e.g. transport

those living in high (HIC) and low- and middle-income (LMIC)

Twinning programmes linking high- and low-income countries The strongest correlation for childhood cancer survival in

have shown that improvement is achievable provided that the first 10 countries supported in the “My Child Matters”

there is a long term supportive commitment to the project5,6,7. initiative8 was annual governmental health care expenditure (r2

It is essential to have strong local medical and nursing = 0.882, p<0.001) which also correlates with gross domestic

leadership and there must be “buy in” from hospitals, product and numbers of doctors and nurses/1000 population9.

ministries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and some When parents can barely afford to feed their family, the cost

local philanthropists. Only then can there be development of cytotoxics, supportive care, hospital visits; and the

with long-term sustainability. consequent loss of earnings when a key family member has to

Table 1 shows the obstacles to be overcome in starting the be away with the child in hospital, the financial burden of

treatment of young people with cancer. It is crucial to cancer is totally prohibitive. As a result treatment refusal, and

understand these challenges and for oncologists, and all who “abandonment” are a high risk. Abandonment rates vary

care for children worldwide to find solutions and work widely, 1– 60%, depending on where the family live10. The rates

together to make them real in the interests of children have been reduced; by families being convinced that a “cure” is

worldwide. possible10, by increased government funding specifically for

care (e.g. in Mexico) and subsidized cytotoxics as part of a

Poverty twinning partnership11. The ultimate goal must be to promote

Sadly childhood cancer emerges as a significant threat to life long-term sustainability within each country with funding

as socioeconomic conditions improve and deaths from from governmental monies, local NGOs and philanthropists.

communicable diseases begin to be controlled. The distance families have to travel to receive care also

104 CANCER CONTROL 2013

Index

  1. CANCER CONTROL 2013
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070
  71. Page 0071
  72. Page 0072
  73. Page 0073
  74. Page 0074
  75. Page 0075
  76. Page 0076
  77. Page 0077
  78. Page 0078
  79. Page 0079
  80. Page 0080
  81. Page 0081
  82. Page 0082
  83. Page 0083
  84. Page 0084
  85. Page 0085
  86. Page 0086
  87. Page 0087
  88. Page 0088
  89. Page 0089
  90. Page 0090
  91. Page 0091
  92. Page 0092
  93. Page 0093
  94. Page 0094
  95. Page 0095
  96. Page 0096
  97. Page 0097
  98. Page 0098
  99. Page 0099
  100. Page 0100
  101. Page 0101
  102. Page 0102
  103. Page 0103
  104. Page 0104
  105. Page 0105
  106. Page 0106
  107. Page 0107
  108. Page 0108
  109. Page 0109
  110. Page 0110
  111. Page 0111
  112. Page 0112
  113. Page 0113
  114. Page 0114
  115. Page 0115
  116. Page 0116
  117. Page 0117
  118. Page 0118
  119. Page 0119
  120. Page 0120
  121. Page 0121
  122. Page 0122
  123. Page 0123
  124. Page 0124
  125. Page 0125
  126. Page 0126
  127. Page 0127
  128. Page 0128
  129. Page 0129
  130. Page 0130
  131. Page 0131
  132. Page 0132
  133. Page 0133
  134. Page 0134
  135. Page 0135
  136. Page 0136
  137. Page 0137
  138. Page 0138
  139. Page 0139
  140. Page 0140
  141. Page 0141
  142. Page 0142
  143. Page 0143
  144. Page 0144
  145. Page 0145
  146. Page 0146
  147. Page 0147
  148. Page 0148
  149. Page 0149
  150. Page 0150
  151. Page 0151
  152. Page 0152
  153. Page 0153
  154. Page 0154
  155. Page 0155
  156. Page 0156
  157. Page 0157
  158. Page 0158
  159. Page 0159
  160. Page 0160
  161. Page 0161
  162. Page 0162
  163. Page 0163
  164. Page 0164
  165. Page 0165
  166. Page 0166
  167. Page 0167
  168. Page 0168
  169. Page 0169
  170. Page 0170
  171. Page 0171
  172. Page 0172
  173. Page 0173
  174. Page 0174
  175. Page 0175
  176. Page 0176
  177. Page 0177
  178. Page 0178
  179. Page 0179
  180. Page 0180

powered by PageTiger