Friday January 17, 2020

Classes in hospital for child patients with cancer

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source: searsnationalkidscancerride.com

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.

Next Story

Healthy Diet May Help Avert Nutritional Problems in Cancer Patients

Reverse causation was possible too. Patients' lack of symptoms may have enabled them to consume a broader range of foods, including healthier whole foods, before their cancer was discovered, the researchers hypothesized

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Healthy diet
Patients who ate healthier at diagnosis reported fewer problems with chewing, swallowing and mucositis one year after treatment, the researcher found. Pixabay

Head and neck cancer patients who eat foods high in antioxidants and other micronutrients prior to diagnosis may reduce their risks of developing chronic nutrition impact symptoms up to one year after being diagnosed with head or neck cancer.

According to a study posted on the website of the University of Illinois (UI) on Monday, the study was conducted with 336 adult patients of the University of Michigan Head and Neck Specialized Program of Excellence, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Data on patients’ tumor sites, stages and treatment were obtained from their medical records. More than half of these patients had stage 4 tumors at diagnosis.

Prior to starting cancer treatment and again one year post-diagnosis, the patients completed a questionnaire on their diet, tobacco and alcohol use, and quality of life. Patients reported whether they experienced any of seven nutrition impact symptoms, such as pain or difficulty chewing, tasting or swallowing foods and liquids, and rated on a five-point scale how bothersome each symptom was.

In analyzing the patients’ eating habits, the researchers found that they followed either of two major dietary patterns: the Western pattern, which included high amounts of red and processed meats, fried foods and sugar; or the prudent pattern, which included healthier fare such as fruits and vegetables, fish and whole grains.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Patients who ate healthier at diagnosis reported fewer problems with chewing, swallowing and mucositis one year after treatment, the researcher found.

“While the origin and development of nutrition impact symptoms are complex and varied, they generally share one common mechanism – cell damage due to inflammation,” said Anna E. Arthur, a professor of food science and human nutrition at UI. “The prudent dietary pattern has the potential to reduce inflammation and affect the biological processes involved in the pathogenesis of these symptoms.”

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The researchers also found the mitigating effects of a healthy diet were particularly significant in people who had never smoked and in patients who were underweight or normal weight at diagnosis, who often experience the greatest eating and digestive problems during treatment, said Sylvia L. Crowder, the study’s first author and a research fellow in the Cancer Scholars for Translational and Applied Research program, a collaborative initiative of UI and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois.

The researchers hypothesized that some patients may begin eating healthier after being diagnosed with cancer, potentially counteracting the pro-inflammatory effects of their previous dietary habits.

Reverse causation was possible too. Patients’ lack of symptoms may have enabled them to consume a broader range of foods, including healthier whole foods, before their cancer was discovered, the researchers hypothesized. (IANS)