Sunday March 29, 2020

80% of Children Diagnosed With Cancer Do Not Survive Beyond Teenage: Study

Fighting a deadly disease like cancer at a tender age makes these young one real heroes; and such survivors teach this world the true meaning of challenging the adversary and emerging victorious

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Cancer
The World Health Organization's Global Childhood Cancer Initiative has set a global target to achieve 60 per cent survival rate among the children suffering from cancers by 2030. Pixabay

 It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children up to the age of 19 years are diagnosed with cancers worldwide; and only 20 per cent of them survive to live beyond their teenage.

The situation is equally grim among the low-income sections in India, and the medical fraternity is trying to help such children live long and lead a healthy life, said doctors at Hyderabad-based Continental Hospitals on the occasion of ‘International Childhood Cancer Day’ on Saturday.

The World Health Organization’s Global Childhood Cancer Initiative has set a global target to achieve 60 per cent survival rate among the children suffering from cancers by 2030.

The Continental Hospitals said that it is committed to play a constructive role in reaching the benchmark set by the WHO.

The hospital celebrated the young heroes who not just survived childhood cancers but are leading a healthy and successful lives. Their lives are filled with optimism and will surely encourage others with similar ailments to fight until they defeat the cancer in their body.

The doctors stressed the need to ensure that the hope is not lost in cases of childhood cancers. Such children need right advice from doctors and family around to keep the spirits high and help them fight the disease.

“Fighting a deadly disease like cancer at a tender age makes these young one real heroes; and such survivors teach this world the true meaning of challenging the adversary and emerging victorious. At Continental Hospitals, we have witnessed many young heroes who fought the battle and recovered fully to lead the future by setting an example for others,” said Vinodh Maddireddy, Consultant and Radiation Oncologist, Continental Hospitals.

Cancer
It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children up to the age of 19 years are diagnosed with cancers worldwide; and only 20 per cent of them survive to live beyond their teenage. Pixabay

Five years ago, a young boy Prakash (name changed) was diagnosed with pineoblastoma (advanced brain tumor/cancer), a dreaded tumor with a low rate of patient survival. The patient required entire brain and spinal cord radiation and six months of toxic chemotherapy with three very strong drugs. Each passing day and the challenges faced by this brave young man were difficult to see for anyone around him. The most sophisticated hybrid-radiotherapy at Continental Hospitals, helped the patient cope with side-effects; and today after five long years, the young man, now 24-year-old has completely defeated cancer in his body and is leading a happy and successful life.

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In another case, a 12-year-old kid Arshad Rahman was diagnosed with high grade glioma of thalamus (a form of brain tumor) and his condition was quite peculiar because the patient was not eligible for a biopsy. Instead, the team at Continental Hospitals took radiotherapy approach in addition to oral chemotherapy. Medical team left no stone unturned to ensure the spirits of the child are kept high, and this resulted in successful treatment of the dreaded disease. Today, the child leads a normal life and attends a normal school and is active like any other kid in his class.  (IANS)

 

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Lockdown in India May be Ineffective to Stop COVID-19: Report

India may see 25 crore COVID-19 cases in next 3 months: Report

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India lockdown
The lockdown in India is not productive and could cause serious economic damage, increase hunger and reduce the population resilience for handling the infection peak. Pixabay

In what could spell real trouble for the country in the next three months, a new report from prestigious Johns Hopkins University and the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) has predicted that 21-day lockdown may be ineffective to stop the COVID-19 peak arriving in April-May-June — infecting over 12 crore Indians in an optimistic (low) scenario.

In a High scenario (trajectory with current lockdowns but insufficient physical distancing or compliance), the total number of cases (asymptomatic, hospitalized and symptomatic) can even touch a massive figure of 25 crore.

In the most likely (Medium) scenario with moderate to full compliance but no change in virulence or temperature/humidity sensitivity, the numbers of total cases can swell up to 18 crore.

India lockdown
A new report from prestigious Johns Hopkins University and the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) has predicted that 21-day lockdown in India may be ineffective to stop the COVID-19. Pixabay

The optimistic (low) scenario constitutes decreased virulence and temperature/humidity sensitivity.

To reach these numbers, Johns Hopkins and CDDEP — a public health research organisation — used IndiaSIM, a well-validated agent-based model of the Indian population which has been published widely over many years and has been used for government decision-making.

According to the report, hospitalised cases can reach up to 25 lakh people in the High scenario, 17-18 lakh people in Medium scenario and 13 lakh people in Low scenario.

“Ventilator demand will be 1 million. Current availability in India is estimated to be between 30,000 and 50,000 ventilators,” said the joint report.

“Mortality in healthcare workers could further increase deaths in the general population. Healthcare workers need personal protective equipment (masks and gowns) to protect themselves. Without them they get sick further straining the capacity of the healthcare system to respond,” the report warned.

The number of coronavirus cases climbed to 649 in India on Thursday and the death toll hit 13, with one death reported each from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Health Ministry.

But March is the month when peak is yet to even begin, according to the report.

According to the report, delays in testing are seriously reducing the ability of the population to protect itself.

“This is the most important way in which we can contain the epidemic. An increase in the official number of detected cases in the short term could encourage the population to take distancing more seriously and will reduce panic compared to a big spike later,” the findings showed.

“Border closures at this stage have little to no impact and add further economic disruption and panic. While international transmission was important in the first stage, domestic transmission is now far more relevant,” it warned.

India lockdown
The number of coronavirus cases climbed to 649 in India on Thursday and the death toll hit 13, with one death reported each from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Health Ministry. Pixabay

A national lockdown, said the report, is not productive and could cause serious economic damage, increase hunger and reduce the population resilience for handling the infection peak.

“Some states may see transmission increase only after another 2 weeks and lockdowns should be optimized for when they could maximize the effect on the epidemic but minimize economic damage,” said Johns Hopkins-CDDEP report.

State-level lockdowns in the most affected states could change the trajectory of the epidemic and should commence immediately. Any delay allows for more secondary cases to emerge.

Lockdowns should be guided by testing and serological survey data and should be planned on a rolling basis, the report mentioned, adding that preparedness for case load should be the highest priority at this time.

“Temperature and humidity increases should help us in reducing case load. Although the evidence is limited, it is plausible,” the report mentioned.

Evidence from China indicates that higher temperature and humidity are likely to lower the transmission rates but it is unclear “how this will translate to the India context”.

India “should be prepared for multiple peaks in the model and should be prepared for more cases and deaths later in the year”.

In India, initial infections likely first arrived in early February, according to the report.

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People who will show symptoms next week are already infected and incubating the virus. Some of these will transmit before they are symptomatic. A large percentage of cases are mild, but for older individuals, the mortality rate is strikingly higher.

“Children are less likely to be infected and also less likely to be hospitalized than adults. Illness is less likely to be severe in children than in adults,” the report noted. (IANS)