According to a research done by officials of the Georgetown Public Hospital Cooperation GPHC, there is a problem with Pediatric Cancers (cancer affecting persons under the age of 18) and tumours in Guyana.
This research has shown that during the five years period 2005-2010, there were 72 patients who were diagnosed with some form of cancer or tumour. It further revealed that 24 different types of cancers and tumours were found, the most common are Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Hemangioma were “most commonly occurring.”
The research stated that there was a prevalence of all hematopoietic cancers (Cancer relating to formation of blood cells).
According to officials, the maximal survival time was five years with the minimum being three days.
They further stated that the diagnosis was made “mainly” through the use of biopsy. Imaging, history and physical examination also helped diagnose the conditions.
The patients diagnosed with Hematopoietic Cancers were mostly males of East Indian descent who lived in Region Six. Most were diagnosed in 2008.
According to additional research, in general, Cancer in children (pediatric cancers) differs from cancer in adults in several important ways. The most important difference is that children have generally better prognoses than adults.
Research further revealed that two-thirds of children with cancer are cured of the disease. Still, despite enormous progress in the treatment of childhood cancer since the 1960s in the world at large, it is the second-most common cause of death in children older than one year, with accidents being the leading cause.
One difference between pediatric and adult cancer is that pediatric cancer is found in the cells in which the cancers originate which is probably why hematopoietic was prevalent in the research done by GPHC. Many adult cancers begin in specific organs, such as a lung, the breast, or the colon.
Childhood cancers, except for leukemia’s and brain tumors, often arise in connective tissues such as bone or muscle.
Doctors have found that childhood cancer is often more aggressive than adult cancers. It grows faster and is frequently metastatic (has moved to other parts of the body or to the major organs) by the time of diagnosis. Thus, surgery alone is less likely to cure a child.
Nevertheless, according to research the cancers children develop tend to be more responsive to chemotherapy and radiation than those in adults.
Research has proven that the median age for children at the time of a cancer diagnosis is six years. Another important difference is that screening test is available for some adult cancers, such as mammograms for breast cancer and pap smears for cervical cancer. There are no useful screening tests for childhood cancers.
Not infrequently, the diagnosis is made at a routine pediatric visit.
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