PAHO urges access to diagnosis, treatment for children with cancer

Washington, Sep 17 (Prensa Latina) Every year some 280,000 children under 19 years of age are diagnosed with cancer globally, although most of these deaths could be avoided, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned on Thursday.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, it is estimated that there are at least 29,000 children diagnosed, and about 10,000 could die.

‘Science has made great strides in recent years and early and appropriate diagnostic and treatment methods can save lives, but we need them to reach all of those who need them, and many are being left behind,’ said Dr. Anselm Hennis, PAHO´s Director of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.

Preventable deaths due to childhood cancers occur because of failure to diagnose, incorrect or late diagnosis, and difficulties in accessing care or abandonment of treatment, among others.

Childhood cancer care services were severely disrupted when the COVID-19 pandemic started, according to a survey of pediatric oncologists in 20 countries in the Americas.

Cancer patients are at increased risk of developing the most severe and life-threatening forms of COVID-19. Fortunately, these services are being resumed in most countries in the region.

As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is urging improved diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer, one of the leading causes of death in children and adolescents in the Americas.

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