Saturday March 24, 2018

Classes in hospital for child patients with cancer


Mumbai: The Tata Memorial Hospital offers classes for its young cancer patients right on its premises and even arranges for them to go to a special school, which ensures that the children don’t face a gap in their studies.

The TMH paediatric facility, ImPaCCt Foundation, started this service in March this year. Classroom sessions and activities are carried out through this, which engage the minds of the children, making sure they can rejoin school easily after their treatment concludes, stated the hospital doctors on Tuesday.

TMH’s Paediatric and Medical Oncology Department HOD Dr Shripad Banavali said that a well-rounded approach was needed in the case of child patients, as only proper education would be able to make them an active part of the society once they were cured. Around 70 to 80 per cent children recover completely after treatment.

“We were nurturing the body, now we also nurture the mind,” he said.

The children in the ward can take part in a customised educational programme while short activities are carried out for those in the waiting area.

Mindsprings Enrichment Centre, which works with children having special learning needs, provides professional teachers for the hospital classes. Some of the child patients are also sent to Canshala, a Can Kids-run school situated on Elphinstone Road for children with cancer.

To ensure that the kids don’t miss a school year, Canshala even provides them with a certificate after treatment ends.

Teachers use non-verbal means of communication to overcome language barriers since children at TMH come from all over the country,” said Priya Iyer of Mindsprings, explaining that the programme was designed after a study on how to connect with these children.

During treatment, the shift from studies to hospital for children hampers their normalcy and “affects the child’s cognitive abilities due to lack of stimulation,” said Dr Banavali.

Each child patient is registered and a customised education plan is provided based on the child’s school and medium of instruction, said ImPaCCT Foundation Secretary Shalini Jatia. Individuals, corporates and NGOs, have all come together to make the programme a success through the Corporate Social Responsibility Arm.

Paediatric Oncology professor, Gaurav Narula said that classroom session had gained popularity with the children after the programme had matured for nine months.

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Eating almonds, peanuts may boost colon cancer survival

Patients may not be eating nuts due to concerns about the high-fat content and that increasing nut consumption will lead to obesity, which leads to worse outcomes says a study

Almonds and other nuts can improve survival of patients suffering from colon cancer.
  • Eating peanuts and almonds can boost colon cancer survival
  • They also lower its occurrence
  • Patients should not worry about high fat-content

People with colon cancer who regularly eat nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts may be at significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence and mortality, researchers say.

Colon Cancer can be very dangerous. Pixabay

The findings showed that those who regularly consumed at least two, one-ounce servings of nuts each week showed a 42 percent improvement in disease-free survival and a 57 percent improvement in overall survival. In patients with stage III colon cancer, recurrence was reduced by nearly half.

“These findings are in keeping with several other observational studies that indicate that a slew of healthy behaviours, including increased physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, and lower intake of sugar and sweetened beverages, improve colon cancer outcomes,” said lead author Temidayo Fadelu, postdoctoral student at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Also Read: New Combo Therapy Found Effective In Kidney Cancer Patients

“The results highlight the importance of emphasising dietary and lifestyle factors in colon cancer survivorship,” Fadelu added. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, followed 826 participants in a clinical trial for a median of 6.5 years after they were treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

Almonds can help increase survival during the colon cancer.

Patients may not be eating nuts due to concerns about the high-fat content and that increasing nut consumption will lead to obesity, which leads to worse outcomes. On the contrary, “our studies, and across the scientific literature in general, have found regular consumers of nuts tend to be leaner”, explained Charles S. Fuchs, Director at Yale Cancer Centre in the US.

Also Read: Omega-3s from fish more effective in cancer prevention

Many previous studies have reported that nuts also help to reduce insulin resistance. “These studies support the hypothesis that behaviours that make you less insulin resistant, including eating nuts, seem to improve outcomes in colon cancer,” Fuchs said. Nuts also might play a positive role by satisfying hunger with less intake of carbohydrates or other foods associated with poor outcomes, Fuchs noted. IANS

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