Measures are being taken to make cancer less painful for the children. The move to make gentler treatment for young ones, which started in 1990s, has paid double dividend. No more long term complications and more children are being saved from cancer than ever before.
Altered Cancer Treatment for Children
Radiation and Chemo has Late Effects:
Radiations and Chemo-therapies have been proved very beneficial for curing cancer. Many children have been free of cancer with the help of these treatments. But these treatments may prove to be harmful for the heart and other organs. And this leads to fatality years later.
Doctors Altered Therapy to Avoid Late Effects:
The doctors started giving smaller and targeted radiation to children suffering from cancer to avoid the late effects of these treatments. The doctors prescribed limited drugs and changed the way of Chemotherapy given to kids. Doctors were not sure about whether these would let the child live long, but the new study tracked down 34,000 childhood cancer survivors over several decades which proves that these measures which are taken to give a gentle treatment to children is highly successful. Dr. Greg Armstrong from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee said that even though the doctors have reduced the treatment and therapy, they have been able to improve survival rates. He also said that around fifty years ago with full treatments and therapies only 30% of the children were saved from cancer but now with reduced treatments 80% of the children suffering from cancer can be saved.
High Success Rates:
The high success rates allowed the doctors to alter the treatment for different types of patients. The death rates were compared and it was seen that 15 years after end of treatment kept declining from about 12% for the ones treated in 1970-74 while 6% for those treated in 1990-94. In this period the deaths due to late effects also decreased from 3.5% to 2-1%.