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Child cancer patients going untreated

April 20, 2015 7:13 pm

The survival rate for child cancer cases is zero to twenty percent.

This was revealed at the launch of the Children Cancer Awareness Month.

Dr Miri Tukana of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital says from 1997 to 2007, 129 children were diagnosed with cancer but seventy – or fifty four percent, received no active treatment.

‘’More children are treated for leukemia – the commonest cancer in children and they’re surviving to complete treatment so our current cure rate is around fifty percent – that’s a big improvement’’.

Health Minister Jone Usamate says Fiji is estimated to have forty five new cases of child cancer every year of which only half are being treated.

‘’So we need the other half to be brought up so that we can deal with them. One of the problems that we have is having an early warning system so that we know where the potential problem are and I think that’s going to the effect of this campaign’’.

There are two centres providing child cancer treatment, Colonial War Memorial hospital and the Lautoka Hospital.

Fifty children are currently being treated at these facilities and some are already in remission.

The Fiji Cancer Society is leading the campaign to try and find more child cancer patients so that they can begin treatment early.