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30 May, 2024
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Pediatric cancer cases on the rise in Cyprus

Health authorities grapple with diagnosing and treating children's illnesses

Newsroom / CNA

Annually, approximately 42 new cases of cancer or leukemia afflict children and teenagers under the age of 19 in Cyprus, according to insights shared by Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Oncology/Hematology/Immunology at the Medical School of the University of Nicosia, Loizos Loizou. While the majority of cases are potentially curable, the impact on affected families is profound.

In a statement to CNA on Friday, Professor Loizou revealed that common diagnoses among the youth include acute leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma, or tumors affecting various organs such as bones, kidneys, and the liver. Globally, around 400,000 new cases of pediatric cancer and leukemia are diagnosed each year, though the actual number is suspected to be higher due to underreporting in certain countries.

Despite being the second most frequent cause of death among children, trailing only accidents, cancer and leukemia claim the top spot as the leading cause of death due to diseases in this age group. Dr. Loizou emphasized the limited understanding of the causes of childhood cancer, attributing only 5% to 10% of cases to heredity. Unlike adult cancers, pediatric cases differ in their nature and necessitate distinct treatment approaches. While prevention strategies are limited in children, the right treatment significantly increases the likelihood of full recovery, with over 80% success rates in developed countries.

Dr. Loizou shed light on the emotional toll that a cancer diagnosis takes on both the child and their family, describing it as one of the most challenging experiences a parent can face. In Cyprus, the Makarios Hospital's Paediatric Hematology and Oncology unit comprises a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and specialists committed to supporting families, providing guidance, and offering the best available options for diagnosis and treatment.

Cyprus  |  cancer  |  health

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