Childhood Cancer in low and middle-income countries

Every year, according to the World Health Organization, an estimated 400 000 children and adolescents of 0-19 years old develop cancer. Leukaemias, brain cancers, lymphomas, and solid tumours, such as neuroblastoma and Wilms tumours are the most common childhood cancers. Cure rates in high-income countries (HICs) with 20% of the world’s children with cancer exceed 80%, while only 30% in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are cured.

 

The survival rate of childhood cancer in South Africa is around 55-60% and seems to be on the rise.

 

The economies of most LMICs are at an early stage of development; stages characterised by poverty, shortages of health-care workers, weak health systems, low education levels, poor access to modern technology, and a paucity of health care facilities. LMICs also have younger populations and therefore a larger proportion of children with cancer than HICs. Additionally, interventions such as public health campaigns which impact on early diagnosis and referral which translate into improved outcomes for adults may have limited impact on decreasing the incidence of paediatric malignancies are not related to modifiable risk factors. However, a few LMICs have seen declines in childhood mortality because of improvements in infectious diseases control. Consequently, noncommunicable disease such as childhood cancer are on the rise and it is likely that the Covid-19 pandemic will reverse gains made in some countries or further exacerbate progress due to resource constraints experienced from a health system – based, supply perspective.

 

While there is an overall need to strengthen systems to improve diagnostics and treatment for patients of all ages with cancer, dedicated centres for childhood cancer treatment require specialized diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, and the ability to manage complications. Childhood cancer care should ideally be managed in a limited number of treatment centres in which multi-disciplinary resources and expertise are concentrated with good satellite centres who can deliver some treatment, thereby decreasing the burden on families, providing rapid management of complications, and decreasing abandonment of treatment. Intensive care units (ICUs) are imperative for the delivery of intensive chemotherapy, but centres lacking ICUs will also be able to cure a portion of children. Stable drug supplies are mandatory as drug shortages impact negatively on survival. Nutritional support is particularly important in LMICs where malnutrition at diagnosis or during treatment is prevalent with an adverse impact on outcome.

 

It is essential to have individuals trained in paediatric oncology i.e., paediatric oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pharmacists, nurses palliative care and allied care workers. Inpatient and outpatient beds preferably designated for paediatric oncology patients is essential. Infection control methods such as a hand hygiene programme, isolation capabilities, and a strong anti-microbial stewardship programme are desirable. Basic haematologic, biochemical, microbiologic, and pathologic laboratory services capable of timely turnaround is vital to the successful delivery of cancer care. Although advanced diagnostic modalities, such as flow cytometry and cytogenetics, are available in HICs, their absence does not preclude the establishment of a paediatric oncology centre.

 

Diagnostic imaging capabilities are necessary. Advanced modalities such as computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are ideal, but basic modalities, such as plain radiographs and ultrasonography are sufficient to begin treating childhood cancer. Reliable supplies of chemotherapeutic agents and supportive care medications, such as antimicrobials, antiemetics, and analgesics, are crucial. According to the WHO only 29% of low-income countries report that cancer medicines are available to their populations compared to 96% of high-income countries. Blood product availability is vital as treatment protocols may cause bone marrow suppression, necessitating the timely and reliable delivery of safe blood products. However, this is not the case for all chemotherapies; treatment for several malignancies requires minimal transfusion support.

 

Abandonment of therapy is a significant cause of treatment failure in many LMICs. Financial support, provision of transport and accommodation decreases the risk of abandonment and must be considered an essential part of oncology care in LMICs. Many factors contribute to treatment abandonment, including a lack of financial resources, poor disease comprehension, cultural factors, belief in alternative medicines, fear of treatment toxicity, inadequate care on the part of health care workers, and decreased awareness. just as some level of basic supportive care capacity is necessary to treat children with cancer, basic educational and aid programs aimed at preventing abandonment are also imperative. Addressing the emotional, social, financial, and spiritual needs of children and families facilitates adherence to treatment, improves quality of life, and reduces the risk of abandonment.

Surgery is a vital component for diagnosis and treatment of many paediatric malignancies, e.g., Wilms tumour but many cancers are curable without surgical intervention. Similarly, radiation therapy is used for a variety of paediatric malignancies e.g., Hodgkin lymphoma, Wilms tumour, and sarcomas. However, in some cases, substituting additional chemotherapy or surgery can result in cure.

 

Different childhood cancers require different treatment intensities for maximum cure rates; for example, the chemotherapy for Wilms tumour is far less intense than for acute myeloid leukemia. Risk stratification systems is one of the major achievements in paediatric oncology where treatment intensity is matched to the disease and the disease risk, reducing both over- and under-treatment. It is imperative to avoid overtreatment in LMICs, as it contributes to an increase in treatment-related mortality. The balance point for each malignancy is essential to optimize therapy and curing the maximum number of children possible. The availability of supportive care is key to the balanced approach.

 

Collaboration with centres of excellence in HICs allows multi-disciplinary expertise with local knowledge and capabilities.

Collection of basic data on patient demographics, disease characteristics, and treatment outcomes, including cause of death, allows for evaluation of specific treatment protocols, and allows for modification of therapy. Many factors contribute to morbidity and mortality, e.g., treatment-related mortality, relapse, or treatment abandonment. Health care workers in many LMICs lack the time to collect, review, and analyse outcome information. In most settings, a resolute data manager with sufficient training, infrastructure, and support is needed to ensure accurate and timely data entry. Collection and analysis of data are neither academic research nor a luxury, but outcome monitoring is essential to improving the care and outcomes of children with cancer. Quality improvement efforts in LMICs make the difference between life and death.

 

Most LMICs lack policies to ensure good paediatric oncology care, and do not have a National Cancer Plan (NCP), a public health programme aimed at increasing the diagnosis, reducing the number of deaths and improving the quality of life of cancer patients, through the implementation of evidence-based strategies for the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, palliation, and research for innovative solutions and evaluation of outcomes. An NCP is to promote the implementation of cost-effective measures beneficial for the maximum number of persons in the population. NCPs promote the development of management guidelines, emphasise early with easy referral pathways, lowers the morbidity and mortality, and improves the quality of life of cancer patients, no matter where they are born.

 

Leaving no one behind includes government’s commitment to all children and their families including our most vulnerable children with non-communicable, long-term conditions.

 

Professor Gita Naidu Chair: South African Children’s Cancer Study Group

 

Sandhya Singh Director, Non-Communicable Diseases National Department of Health

 

Hedley Lewis Chief Executive Officer of CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa

 

 

For Media Queries contact Hedley Lewis:  0829947655 – [email protected]

 

International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) – 15 February 2022

International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) | CHOC South Africa

The 15th of February marks International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) and is used to continue to create a greater awareness and education to empower all of us to recognise the early warning signs of childhood cancer, make informed choices about our children’s health and counter fears and misconceptions about childhood cancer.  Each year, a distinct group of childhood cancer stakeholders is highlighted: #throughourhands giving tribute to children and adolescents with cancer (2021), #throughyourhands with focus on healthcare teams and volunteers (2022) and #throughtheirhands paying tribute to the families and caregivers (2023).

 

The theme this year is #throughyourhands highlighting the incredible individuals whose hands care for children and teens with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders. Just as these children are entrusted in the hands of the multi-disciplinary teams, every child’s journey is also in our hands. It is our responsibility to know the early warnings signs for swift detection to be able to refer patients timeously to specialised treatment and care and in doing so decrease the mortality and morbidity of cancer in children.

 

Every year, according to the World Health Organization, an estimated 400 000 children and adolescents of 0-19 years old develop cancer. Leukaemias, brain cancers, Lymphomas, and solid tumours, such as Neuroblastoma and Wilms tumours are the most common childhood cancers. Cure rates in high-income countries (HICs) with 20% of the world’s children with cancer exceed 80%, while only 30% in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are cured. The survival rate of childhood cancer in South Africa is around 55-60% and seems to be on the rise.

 

Public health campaigns impact on early diagnosis and referral which translates into improved outcomes but may have limited impact on decreasing the incidence of paediatric malignancies are not related to modifiable risk factors. Dedicated centres for childhood cancer treatment requires specialised diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, and the ability to manage complications. Childhood cancer care should ideally be managed in a limited number of treatment centres in which resources and expertise are concentrated with good satellite centres who can deliver some treatment, thereby decreasing the burden on families, providing rapid management of complications, and decreasing abandonment of treatment.

 

It is essential to have individuals trained in paediatric oncology i.e., paediatric oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pharmacists, nurses, and allied care workers. Different childhood cancers require different treatment intensities for maximum cure rates; for example, the chemotherapy for Wilms tumour is far less intense than for acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Collaboration with centres of excellence in HICs allows multi-disciplinary expertise with local knowledge and capabilities.

 

Every child, teenager and parent who starts their childhood cancer journey, have hope that their child will survive and live a long, happy, healthy, and fulfilled life. As a global childhood cancer community, we believe that increased awareness and accurate information and knowledge can empower all of us to recognize the early warning signs of childhood cancer, make informed choices about our children’s health and counter fears and misconceptions about childhood cancer.   During the prevention, care, and management; as well as the rehabilitation and integration of survivors, there are many role-players that contribute to the success thereof. Parents and families have hope when they trust their children and teenagers #throughyourhands and on ICCD 2022 we salute the healthcare workers, allied workers and NGOs who impact on the lives of children and teens with cancer.  They are the voices of the families and give hope to the children, teens and their families to complete the cancer treatment. Together, and #throughyourhands we can reach the WHO Global Childhood Cancer Initiative (GICC) of 60% survival rate by 2030 and in doing reduce the suffering of the children.

 

Covid-19 has had a substantial impact on both those that treat and those who are treated. Leaving no one behind includes government’s commitment to all children and their families including our most vulnerable children with non-communicable, long-term conditions. Let us amplify the visibility of childhood cancer at all levels and reach the breadth of stakeholders with the power to effect life-saving change.

 

Together, we can sustain and reinforce healthcare professionals in the fulfilment of their all-important role and make a positive difference for children and teenagers with cancer worldwide.

 

If you are concerned your child may have cancer, please refer your child or teenager here: https://choc.org.za/choc-patient-referral-pathways/

 

 

Professor Gita Naidu Chair: South African Children’s Cancer Study Group

 

Sandhya Singh Director, Non-Communicable Diseases National Department of Health

 

Hedley Lewis Chief Executive Officer of CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa

 

 

For Media Queries contact Hedley Lewis:  0829947655 – [email protected]

Discovery Vitality MoveToGive

CHOC provides comprehensive support and care to children and teenagers with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder and their families from the time of diagnosis until the end of treatment – whether cure or sadly end-of-life.  CHOC offers practical support in the form of accommodation, transport assistance, Carebags with essential items and information, to over 3000 beneficiaries annually, particularly from low-income households across South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. . Alongside this practical support, the organisation offers psychosocial and emotional support through more than 17 000 family interactions.

This partnership is part of the broader Vitality MoveToGive campaign. MoveToGive uses crowdsourced philanthropy to improve the lives of thousands of South Africans, by enabling Vitality members to support charitable causes, like CHOC, for social good. The app-based functionality allows members who reach their weekly activity, financial and driving goals to donate their earned Discovery Miles to a preselected cause or charity.

James Vos, Head of Product Management at Discovery Vitality and lead on MoveToGive says, “We are grateful to have a member base who are so generous in supporting those fighting cancer.” He adds, “It is an honour to partner with CHOC, whose mission aligns so closely with Discovery’s core purpose of making people healthier and protecting and enhancing their lives.”

For more information on the campaign please visit https://www.discovery.co.za/vitality/movetogive-choc-foundation

For further media queries please contact:

 

CHOC Representative:

 

Hedley Lewis, CEO

[email protected]

 

Nirupa Kasserchun, National Fundraiser

[email protected]

 

Taryn Seegers, Communications Coordinator

[email protected]

 

Discovery Vitality Press Representative

 

Munene Khoza

Senior Reputation Manager | Vitality & Wellness

[email protected]

About Vitality

Vitality is the largest global platform for behaviour change, underpinning the insurance products of leading insurers worldwide, with more than 20 million members in 30 markets. The Vitality model, established by Discovery Limited in South Africa, has been incentivising behaviour change amongst its clients for over 25 years. Vitality creates shared value by combining behavioural economics, clinical science, and financial incentives to encourage and reward members for taking steps to improve their health. The model began with a focus on health and wellness, and has expanded to include short-term insurance, investments and financial wellness. For more information, please visit the Vitality Website or email the Discovery Media Relations team.

 

 

About CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA, founded in 1979, by a group of parents who identified the need to support the parents of children and teenagers who were diagnosed with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder and their families. In line with the organisation’s vision, we have since evolved into the largest and leading childhood cancer non-profit in South Africa providing life-changing and all-embracing support programmes to both the child or teenager and their families, from diagnosis to remission or sadly end-of-life. Our core programmes are in line with the WHO Global Childhood Cancer initiative to increase the survival rate of childhood cancer in South Africa to 60% by 2030 through our Comprehensive Child and Family Support Programme offering psychosocial,  emotional and practical support, education and awareness;  as well as advocacy through strategic alliances and networks.

Be Bold, Go Gold

Gold September is an annual campaign worldwide to raise awareness of childhood cancer. There are many advances in pediatric oncology, yet cancer remains a leading cause of mortality in children. It is imperative that children are diagnosed early for effective treatment of early-stage disease, which will translate into favourable outcomes and improved overall survival. Many factors are responsible for delays in childhood cancer, including the child’s age, family’s socioeconomic status, parental educational level, distance of residence from the hospital, cancer type, site, and stage. 

Many children in low- and middle-income countries have poor access to hospitals, which in turn lack essential diagnostic tests, experience a shortage of nursing medical and surgical personnel, inadequate and erratic supply of basic pharmaceutical and chemotherapeutic agents, and an absence of radiotherapy, surgical and intensive care facilities. These are but some of the factors which contribute to patients presenting with advanced disease and resultant poorer outcomes. 

As neonatal, infant and child health improves in South Africa, communicable diseases, such as respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases, HIV-AIDS, and tuberculosis, are better controlled. It is imperative to focus on non-communicable diseases such as childhood cancer and identify these diseases early, have access to the correct diagnostics and therapeutics and ensure the availability of supportive care to improve overall survival of our children with cancer. 

The burden of the SARS-CoV-2 is further testing our fragile African health care systems. Many caregivers are unemployed due to national lockdowns, there are inadequate transport systems, and caregivers are afraid to venture out of the safety of their homes to seek healthcare as the ever-present danger of contracting Covid-19 lurks. Sadly, we may experience even further delays in the diagnosis of childhood cancer. 

We should endeavour to ensure children with cancer do not face further delays in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer during the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. 

The Siluan Warning Signs for childhood cancer were adopted by the South African Children’s Cancer Study Group and the national Department of Health to promote the early detection and we encourage the community to be a voice of hope this September and collaborate with health care workers, non-profit organisations, and the Department of Health to spread the Siluan Warning Signs for early cancer diagnosis. This could possibly save the life of a child or teenager. 

If you are concerned your child may have cancer, please refer your child or teenager here: https://choc.org.za/choc-patient-referral-pathways/ 

Professor Gita Naidu
Chair: South African Children’s Cancer Study Group 

Sandhya Singh
Director, Non-Communicable Diseases National Department of Health 

Hedley Lewis 
Chief Executive Officer 

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa 

For Media Queries – contact Hedley Lewis – 0829947655 – [email protected] 

 

CHOC continues to augment the paediatric oncology fraternity

The CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA has continued to augment the pediatric oncology fraternity to support patients to receive treatment throughout the SARS-Coronavirus-2 pandemic.

“If you are receiving treatment for cancer or have signs and symptoms of cancer, please do not delay in going to the hospital. Hospitals and clinics have contingency plans to assist all patients, and infection prevention measures to prevent the spread of SARS-Coronavirus-2” says Professor Gita Naidu, and omit second doctor (President of the South African Children’s Study Cancer Group -SACCSG).

 

At CHOC we recommend that despite the SARS-Coronavirus-2 pandemic which is still evolving globally and remains a public health emergency of international concern, do not avoid getting checked or delay your treatment, an early diagnosis can better the survival rate.

Hedley Lewis – CHOC’s CEO communicates that “our foundation continues to avail ourselves to members of the public who may  detect any of the early warning signs of childhood cancer in a child or teenager, please contact the CHOC helpline – 0800 333 555 (during office hours) or visit our website to get in touch with the region closest to you: www.choc.org.za

To view the CHOC Early Warning Signs please click here: https://choc.org.za/childhood-cancer-early-warning-signs/

 

For further media queries please contact:

Taryn Seegers
[email protected]
+27 72 243 5179

 

CHOC is a non-profit organisation that advocates for the health and well-being of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders. The passionate and dedicated staff and volunteers of CHOC aim to save lives through early detection and comprehensive support programmes for the families affected by cancer such as; accommodation, transport assistance, psychosocial, emotional and practical support and more. They also provide awareness and education on childhood cancer and life-threatening blood disorders.

Welcoming our new Chief Executive Officer, Hedley Lewis

Welcoming CHOC’s new Chief Executive Officer, Hedley Lewis

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA eagerly welcomed our new Chief Executive Officer, Hedley Lewis, to the team in June 2021.

Hedley, with his vast experience in the field of fundraising, has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Smile Foundation for 10 years. He is known for his extensive influence in management, development, and upbringing of strategic opportunities. Hedley left Vodacom and the corporate world to make a difference in the lives of South Africa’s underprivileged children where his journey with The Smile Foundation began.

“Vodacom gave me the opportunity to shoot for the stars and learn from some of this country’s finest leaders, starting in the finance department and then working with the Managing Directors office within the loyalty programs department. During my tenure at Vodacom, I received the Managing Directors’ award” says Hedley.

Adventures as the CEO of CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA

Hedley recently visited a few of our CHOC houses –  the Northern region, and the Saxonwold home – which was the first of the CHOC houses. He shares, “This home in the heart of Johannesburg has the love and warmth of a very special home. Walking through the rooms of the home I could feel the love and care that permeates the atmosphere.”

CHOC July Norther Region

Welcoming a brand new vehicle into the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA Transport Programme

“World Sports Betting generously donated a new quantum to our Gauteng South Region, which is greatly appreciated! This vehicle will transport children from the CHOC house to the hospital daily. For the financial year 2019 – 2020 CHOC was able to assist 847 people through our Transport Programme nationally. In addition to this we also assist families with transport funds. These funds are imperative as we often see children abandon treatment due to lack of transport, or in some cases, transport funds. CHOC’s transport programme relieves the financial burden, particularly in the case of low-income families who live far from treatment centres.  

In the last financial year CHOC was able to provide R635,475 in transport assistance all thanks to our generous donors!”

Hedley is a family man and we know that he will fit into the CHOC team perfectly. We’re excited to see Hedley apply his experience and knowledge to help grow CHOC further and create more awareness for children and teenagers who are fighting childhood cancer. 

Find out More About Supporting CHOC

Contact us to find out more about getting involved with CHOC, or to request more information.

Donate to CHOC here: https://choc.org.za/donate-to-choc/

Visit our online shop: https://choc.org.za/choc-shop/

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

To get involved with CHOC, visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/

CHOC – Letter about closure

CHOC Lock Down Blog Header

Dear Friends of CHOC

Covid-19 / the Corona Virus is having a global impact and is effecting each one of us. Of concern to CHOC is the health and safety of all involved with CHOC, especially the children and teens with cancer who are under treatment, many of whom have compromised immune systems. Continue reading

Message from the CEO

Carlos Queiros (CEO) (Board and Exco member)

Was that 2018 or a bullet train?!

I am sure that is how many of you have experienced 2018 thus far. But for many others that is not their experience. When a child, teenager, mom or dad gets told that they or their child has cancer it is like everything suddenly goes into slow motion. You hear what the doctor or the CHOC Social Worker is saying, but you cannot really process it – you are still stuck on the word “cancer!”

I experienced this for myself a few weeks ago when I was told “your wife has advanced colon cancer.” I wanted to shout back at the doctor and say, no, stop staying this to me – this cannot be about my wife. That was hard enough, so I can only imagine how hard it must be for a parent to be told their child has cancer. As children are vulnerable, it is always harder for us to see them go through pain and suffering.

Through CHOC, thanks to our wonderful staff and many amazing volunteers, we can at least say that for children and teens fighting cancer, and their loved ones, we have made the journey easier and have provided encouragement and hope. Hope – that’s an important word…

So much has happened over this last year. Here are just some of the highlights:

  • We commissioned an outside, professional and highly regarded company, Ask Afrika, to conduct a study to assess if CHOC and our programmes have had a real impact on our beneficiaries. The study was conducted among all of our stakeholders (teens, parents, family members, donors, volunteers, medical professional and others). We are very pleased to say across all stakeholder groups we scored very highly, an average of 90%. For the direct beneficiaries (survivors, teens and parents) 98% stated that CHOC’s support and services had a very good to excellent effect on their fight against cancer. (A full report is available on request.)
  • Our CHOC social workers provide a vital service in the paediatric oncology wards. We started the year with 7 social workers and social auxiliary workers in five wards, and ended the year with 11 in 13 paediatric oncology wards in the country, with another two placements for two new wards in process (some smaller units share a social worker). This will mean that CHOC will then have a social worker in almost every single paediatric oncology unit in the whole country!
  • While we ended the last fiscal year in a moderate deficit, this was not due to reduced effort around fundraising, but due to the fact that we significantly increased the extent and reach of our programmes. You will see from our statistics that we are serving more children and family members in more ways than ever before.
  • We were very excited to have opened a new home in Pretoria (the Northern Region) and in Cape Town (next to Red Cross hospital) this year! This means that CHOC now has 13 accommodation facilities throughout the country, ensuring that every single child, teen, parent and family member that needs accommodation close to a paediatric oncology unit has access to a safe and secure home away from home.
  • Almost two years ago CHOC was asked to be an Anchor member of CCI (Childhood Cancer International) Africa. Over the last year CHOC has played an increasingly significant role in assisting the growth in CCI Africa and other sister childhood cancer and parent organisations in Africa. CHOC hosted the Africa Regional Workshop in Johannesburg, and soon we will be training social workers from other countries in Africa.
  • Our Awareness Training programme has gone from strength to strength, and is now being implemented throughout the county. Over 25,000 medical and medically related professionals have been trained in the early warning signs of childhood cancer and the referral process. No doubt, through this, lives have been saved.

So, all in all, despite a tough economic climate and the pressures from rising demands for our support and services we have much to be grateful for and to celebrate. However, the rising demand for our services also means that we need your support more than ever!

I would like to deeply and sincerely thank each and every one of you who have generously and faithfully supported us over the past year. If you have ever visited one of the wards we work in; visited a CHOC house; or met any child, teen or parent benefitting from CHOC services, you will know what a massive difference our work makes.

Thank you all, have a great festive season, and Merry Christmas!

Carl Queiros, CHOC CEO
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso

Message from Regional Manager Agie Govender

It’s difficult to keep NGO’s afloat at the best of times and this financial year was no exception. CHOC receives no subsidy from the government. We therefore have to rely on corporates, schools , trusts and individuals  to donate to CHOC, host and attend events.  I want to thank every volunteer, individual, school, trust and every company who supported us during this past financial year.Your support has helped us make a huge difference.

Our quest is to keep more than hope alive at the worst possible time in the lives of children diagnosed with cancer and their families, and we can only do this because of your support to CHOC.

A huge shout to my team who multi task in every aspect of their work in order to try and reach our target. The KZN region understands that together we are making a difference.

Childhood cancer myths and stigmas

Childhood Cancer Myths and Stigmas

  • Cancer is contagious
  • You can get cancer by playing or touching a cancer patient
  • Children cannot get cancer
  • Children do not get cancer because of their race and gender.
  • Childhood cancer is the fault of the child or parents.
  • There is no need for the elders to talk about cancer in the family
  • Decisions of transfusions or amputations should only be taken by the elders
  • There are no signs and symptoms with childhood cancer
  • Children do not survive cancer
  • There is nothing that can be done once a child is diagnosed
  • Certain families do not have the right to health care

Reality

  • Cancer is NOT contagious
  • You cannot get cancer by playing or touching a cancer patient
  • Children can get cancer
  • Children can be diagnosed with cancer, irrespective of race or gender.
  • Childhood cancer is a blood disorder and no one is at fault for this illness.
  • There is a need for the elders to talk about cancer in the family
  • Decisions of transfusions or amputations should be taken in consultation with elders in the best interest of the child’s survival.
  • There are early warning signs and symptoms of childhood cancer
  • Children can survive cancer if diagnosed early.
  • Early diagnosis is the key to survival.
  • All have a right to health care