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Kids with cancer suffer due to diagnostic delays

Children detected with cancer face a major delay due to long diagnostic interval (first presentation to a healthcare provider to diagnosis).

Published: 18th September 2021 04:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2021 07:59 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Children detected with cancer face a major delay due to long diagnostic interval (first presentation to a healthcare provider to diagnosis). On an average, it takes them 37 days to navigate the primary and secondary healthcare system before they reach the specialist hospital and get a diagnosis, finds a new study.

National Society for Childhood Cancer Cankids Kidscan has conducted a first of its kind study among Indian childhood cancer patients (Children with newly diagnosed cancers before the completed age of 18 years) of North and East India. The study aims to investigate the barrier and time of the treatment to drive survival and quality of life outcomes for children with cancer in India.

The study was conducted during July 1, 2019 in the first phase, and ended on February 28th, 2021 in the last phase. It had representative samples of 2,877 patients across 19 states and 37 cities and towns of North and East India. The study was led by a team of Dr Ramandeep Arora, Secretary, Indian Pediatric Oncology Group, Head Quality Care, Research & Impact (QCRI) Cankids Kidscan, Pediatric Oncologist, Max Super Specialty Hospital.

The findings suggested that an average patient interval doesn’t take more than three days. On an average basis, parents contact a healthcare professional within three days of first symptom in childhood cancer cases. The range for the same is as low as 0 day to as high as 720 days.

“On an average, patient treatment starts within three days once cancer is diagnosed. This ranges between 0 to 282 days.” The three most common cancers were blood cancer (53%), bone and soft tissue sarcomas (14%) and lymphomas (13%).

Dr Ramandeep Arora said, “Accessing diagnosis and quality treatment in a timely fashion is perhaps the most important step in improving the outlook of children with cancer in India.” 



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