Catching Them Young
- 55,000 children diagnosed with cancer every year in India
- Worldwide, the annual figure is 2 lakh; in the US, 12,500
- Studies show a direct link between increased urbanisation and childhood cancer worldwide
- Only 5 per cent of childhood cancer is hereditary; 95 per cent of the causes are external factors: viruses, pollution, radiation etc
- In 2009, India had only 55 paediatric oncologists, 15 of them in Mumbai; even the rest are available only in cities.
- Paediatric oncology not recognised as a speciality in over 250 medical colleges across the country
- The commonest childhood cancer is leukaemia; lymphomas, brain tumours, tumours of bone and soft tissue rank next
- Childhood cancer constitutes just four per cent of total cancer in India—the rising figures are a cause of concern, not excess alarm
Nitish loves a red toy car and thinks eating Maggi noodles is a treat. He smiles...