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Gold September 2023: Pediatric cancer outcomes in Poland comparable to Western Europe and the US

MedExpress Team

Published Sept. 22, 2023 08:30

Gold September 2023: Pediatric cancer outcomes in Poland comparable to Western Europe and the US - Header image
Cancers in children are curable in more than 80 percent of cases, and the results of leukemia treatment in children in Poland are better than in Western Europe. The challenge is oncological vigilance on the part of parents and doctors, access to molecular diagnostics and individualization of treatment, pediatric oncologists and hematologists emphasize.

September is Children's Cancer Awareness Month, as reminded by the Golden September (Gold September) campaign celebrated around the world. This year, the organizers of Poland's Gold September want above all to point out that pediatric cancers are largely curable, but the most important thing is that both parents and family doctors and pediatricians should not underestimate alarming symptoms. Access to modern molecular diagnostics and the ability to tailor treatment to the cancer in a particular child are also prerequisites for improving treatment outcomes.

Necessary oncological vigilance

The symbol of pediatric cancer month is the color gold, because gold symbolizes what is most important in life - a child's health.

- We would like to cure 100 percent of children who develop cancer, so that none die from it. In case of early detection, the cure rate is as high as 95-100 percent, so we want to make the whole society, especially parents, aware of the existence of cancer in children and sensitize them to potential symptoms. Sometimes we are amazed at how long the time passes from the appearance of a lump in a child, for example, until the child comes to the doctor with this problem. We also want to further sensitize pediatricians and family doctors. Tumors in children are rare diseases; but on the other hand, they are the second cause of death in children in Poland, after injuries and accidents, " says Prof. Tomasz Szczepanski, president of the Polish Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology.

Approximately 1,100-1200 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed each year in Poland. The first symptoms are nonspecific; they may include a change in behavior, loss of appetite, pain in the limbs, deterioration of physical performance, rapid fatigue, recurrent fevers or subfeversions (not caused by infection), headaches, nausea, vomiting, especially in the morning (despite the absence of infection), a tendency to bruise (without trauma), the appearance of petechiae.

- These symptoms do not necessarily mean cancer, howeve...

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