Words Of Wisdom –
“Cancer Cannot Cripple Love, It Cannot Shatter Hope, It Cannot Conquer The Spirit.”
Millions succumb to cancer every year in our country, many of whom are children.
The rising burden of childhood cancer worldwide is becoming a matter of concern. According to the Indian Cancer Society, every year about 3 lakh children are diagnosed with cancer all over the world. In India, nearly 50,000 new cancer cases occur every year, which means about one child every 11 minutes.
Moreover, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research, a total of 7.9 per cent of all cancer cases between 2012-19 were found in children below 14 years.
Cancer In Children Can Be Cured:
Cancer can occur at any age. In India, due to the lack of awareness, detection becomes difficult in the early stages. However, if diagnosed and treated early, the chances of survival are high.
Surgeries, stem cell transplantation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy are different kinds of treatments that are used to treat cancer in children. The oncology teams of pediatric departments diagnose the type of cancer and set the protocols for effective cancer treatment. Access to effective diagnosis, cancer treatment, essential medicines, and supportive care is crucial for cure and survival.
An estimated 70-90% of cancer cases in children are completely curable. However, only 20,000 out of 50,000 cancer patients in India get proper cancer treatment due to huge gaps in the healthcare system. With the appropriate medical treatment, hygienic living conditions and holistic nutrition, cancer in children can be cured.
This lack of access to cancer care is a serious problem for the underprivileged from rural and semi-urban areas as around 95% of cancer care facilities are located in urban areas.
Cancer Treatment And Care:
About 40% of children with cancer are malnourished at the time of diagnosis, which makes cancer survival a challenge. Underprivileged families from rural or semi-urban areas migrate with children diagnosed with cancer to metropolitan cities for cancer treatment. But these families find it difficult to bear the high cost of cancer treatment and provide safe and hygienic living conditions for them. Often, they are compelled to live on the pavements near cancer hospitals. With already compromised immune systems, these children are more vulnerable to secondary infections if they live in unhygienic conditions during the cancer treatment which slows down the process of the treatment. All these experiences often force families to abandon treatment and return to their hometowns, increasing the risk of fatality due to cancer.
NGOs play a crucial role in helping these underprivileged families get all the support and help they need during cancer treatment. Through financial assistance, holistic nutrition and hygiene, protection and care, nurturing environment, NGOs give these cancer-affected children the best chance of battling and surviving cancer.
St. Jude India ChildCare Centres
Being an NGO for childhood cancer patients, St. Judes provides a ‘home away from home’ for children undergoing cancer treatment. It was founded with the objective to ensure that each child suffering from cancer should have access to the best cancer treatment to help them win the battle against this deadly disease. Their mission is to provide a hygienic, safe and cost-free environment, along with nutrition and holistic care to support cancer-affected children and their parents during their child’s treatment.
1. A home away from home:
The cancer-affected children, accompanied by their parents, who migrate from rural and semi-urban areas to metropolitan cities are provided a ‘home away from home’ (clean and safe accommodation) for the duration of their cancer treatment.
2. Holistic Nutrition:
The underprivileged families are provided with a kitchen space and the essential tools and raw materials where the parents can cook meals as per their child’s choice and preference.
3. Holistic Care:
Every St. Judes centre is well-equipped with common bathrooms with clean and hygienic toilets and bathing spaces, as well as spaces where the families can wash and dry their clothes.
St. Judes provides transportation facilities to children and their families to help them commute from the hospital to the centres every day.
St. Judes provides a friendly environment through counselling which helps children and their families overcome any fear and anxiety about cancer.
In addition, St. Judes also provide regular educational classes and recreational sessions such as music therapy and yoga for children and their parents.
St. Judes creates a community for different families who come from diverse parts of the country but who share the common goal of getting their children treated for cancer.
Support and Help:
You can help St. Judes India by donating here.