The Paediatric Oncology Clinic at Kokilaben Hospital is a dedicated specialty designed to help and support cancer afflicted children and their families.
Childhood cancer is different from adult cancers. For example, childhood cancers are not usually linked to lifestyle or environmental factors, and unfortunately, for the vast majority of childhood cancers, there are no identifiable causative factors as to why a child got a cancer. However, childhood cancers tend to respond and tolerate the treatment, such as chemotherapy, better than adults.
Among the 12 major types of childhood cancers, leukemias (blood cell cancers) and cancers of the brain account for more than half of the new cases. In fact, about one-third of all the childhood cancers are leukemias. The most common type of leukemia in children is acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The most common solid tumours are brain tumors (e.g., gliomas and medulloblastomas), with other solid tumours (e.g., neuroblastomas, Wilms’ tumours and sarcomas, such as rhabdomyosarcoma and osteosarcoma) being less common.
Outcome of childhood cancer is in general much better compared to that in adults. Infact, nowadays we are able to treat and cure a majority of all cases of paediatric cancers.
The 5-year survival rates for the more common childhood cancers are:
Treatments are chosen for childhood cancers mainly based on the type and stage (extent) of the cancer. Treatment options may include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and/or other types of treatment such as stem cell transplantation. In many cases, more than one of these treatments is used.
There are exceptions, but most childhood cancers usually respond well to treatment. A child’s body is generally able to recover better from the higher doses of chemotherapy than an adult. Using more intensive treatments give doctors a better chance of treating the cancer effectively. One needs to balance intensive treatment and limit side effects as much as possible.
The Paediatric Oncology Clinic at Kokilaben Hospital brings together a multidisciplinary team led by a dedicated Paediatric Oncologist together with Paediatric Surgeons, Radiation Oncologists, Pathologists, Paediatric Oncology Nurses and Nurse Practitioners to look after children. The team is supported by Psychologists, Social Workers, Nutritionists, Rehabilitation and Physical Therapists, and Educators, who can support and educate the entire family.