Cancer 4 times more likely to kill kids in poor nations than rich ones

Children painting a wall to spread cancer awareness in Pune. (TOI file photo)

A Lancet study has pointed out that 82% cancer cases among children come from poorer countries. However, there are two bright spots as far as India is concerned. “First, there are centres such as Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, AIIMS in Delhi or PGI in Chandigarh where survival rates are almost equal to the western figure,” said Banavali. Second, the incidence or rate of canceramong India’s children is much lower than in the West. “The incidence of cancer among children in India is 80-90 children per 1,00,000 children; the corresponding figure for the US and Europe is 160,” added Banavali.
However, due to India’s huge population, even a smaller proportion translates into huge numbers in absolute terms. Moreover, unlike in the western countries, where the proportion of adult and paediatric population is almost equal, youngsters below 35 years account for over 65% of India’s population.

For the first time, the new Lancet study also quantifies the burden of paediatric cancer in terms of the number of health years lost for a country. “The number of new cancer cases in children and adolescents (0-19 years) is relatively low around 4,16,500 globally in 2017, but treatment-related ill-health and disability and fatal cancer are estimated to cause 11.5 million years of healthy life lost globally every year,” it said.

The GBD-Lancet study was conducted by St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, and University of Washington in Seattle, and funded by Bill & Melinda Gates and others.
“Lack of diagnosis, access to healthcare and a younger population are responsible for disproportionately large childhood cancer burden in many of the poorest countries,” the study said.

[“source=timesofindia.indiatimes.”]