NNC XI joins the nation in the observance of International Childhood Cancer Day

International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated every 15th of February.

This is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors, and their families.

The event has been founded based on Childhood Cancer International’s (CCI) central concept that every child and adolescent suffering with cancer, regardless of country of origin, social class, financial condition, or race, deserves the best possible treatment.

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world which accounts an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018.

It is also one of the leading causes of death among children and adolescents worldwide; approximately 280,000 children ages 0-19 are diagnosed with cancer each year.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reports that cancer is one of the third leading cause of mortality among Filipinos which accounts to almost 28 thousand cases or 9% percent of the total deaths in the country.

The most common types of childhood cancers in the Philippines are Leukemias (cancer related to the blood), Lymphomas, Brain Tumors, Bone Tumors and Abdominal Tumors.

One of the factors that contribute to the development of childhood cancers are genetic processes that occur during the first 1000 days. For example, advanced maternal age of 40 years old and above have a higher risk of giving birth to children with Down Syndrome – a condition where an individual has an extra chromosome.

When combined with other environmental exposures such as radiation during pregnancy, drugs, and carcinogenic agents from cigarette smoking – the child is 10 – 20 x more at risk of developing Leukemia when they reach 2 – 6 years old. It is therefore important to practice good nutrition and health habits among pregnant mothers and infants during the first 1000 days.

Through the years, cancer continually grows globally affecting people across different age groups, with children among the most vulnerable. And still, many of the cancer patients lack access to early diagnosis and treatment.

This year’s theme ‘Better Survival’ aims to identify and address the existing barriers of the people, especially those people with cancers across all ages to have access to quality, equitable, and affordable healthcare. (PR-NNC)