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Medics Demand Childhood Cancer Management Strategy :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Medics Demand Childhood Cancer Management Strategy

The call by experts at the Uganda Cancer Institute follows a report indicating that more children are increasingly suffering from cancer across the world than previously thought. The commonest of these are Burkitt Lymphoma, a cancer that affects the jaw followed by Kaposi sarcoma, a cancer that develops from the blood vessels and commonly associated with HIV.
16 Feb 2016 15:57

Audio 3

Government is urged to develop a comprehensive strategy for the prevention, management and treatment of cancers among children.  The call by experts at the Uganda Cancer Institute follows a report indicating that more children are increasingly suffering from cancer across the world than previously thought.

The report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that 215,000 cancers are diagnosed every year in under 15-year-olds, and another 85,000 in 15 to 19-year-olds.

Dr Jackson Orem, the Executive Director at Uganda Cancer Institute says that up to 400 cases of children suffering from cancer are recorded in Uganda annually. The commonest of these are Burkitt lymphoma, a cancer that affects the jaw followed by Kaposi sarcoma, a cancer that develops from the blood vessels and commonly associated with HIV.

However, Orem adds, despite the high proportion of cancer cases, Uganda does not have a comprehensive management plan for cancers in children. He says efforts should be made to ensure that children have access to treatment as soon as cancer is detected.

He adds that there is need for Uganda to invest in prevention of childhood cancers because most of them grow very fast as opposed to adult cancers.

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The head of Pediatric Oncology at the Uganda Cancer Institute Dr Joyce Balagadde says lack of knowledge and awareness about cancer cases among children is the biggest challenge to addressing the problem in Uganda.

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Dr Sabrina Bakeera Kitaka, a Pediatrician at Mulago National Referral Hospital says poor health behaviors are contributing to a significant increase to the cancer burden in Uganda. She also observes a need for more personnel trained in the management and treatment of cancers among children.

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