Three in four children with cancer can be cured


One-day Seminar organized by MITERA Children’s Hospital & FLOGA

Three in four children suffering from cancer can be cured, provided they have been diagnosed early and have received specialized treatment.

This message, coupled with the value of volunteerism, has immense significance, considering that 250,000 children worldwide develop cancer every year. Out of those, only 20% have access to proper healthcare. In Greece, it is estimated that 280-300 children develop cancer every year, and 70% of those win the battle for life with specialized treatment.

These were the focus of the discussion held on 15 February 2012 during an event organized by the HYGEIA Group, in partnership with “Floga”, the Association of Parents with Children that happened to become sick with Cancer, on the occasion of the International Childhood Cancer Day.

The seminar coordinator, Ms Evangelia Lagona, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Athens and Scientific Director of the MITERA Children’s Hospital, highlighted the significance of early cancer diagnosis in children and its proper treatment by a specialized interdepartmental team, with the aim of achieving the final objective, to cure the patient. She also referred to the significant role of the pediatric oncologist in participating in the overall process and offering support to the family. Finally, she praised the efforts of “Floga”, which, relying on the volunteer work of its members and the support of our fellow citizens, strives to offer better quality of life to children with cancer, embracing both the children and their families.

Commenting on the value of volunteerism, Ms Maria Tryfonidi, President of the “Floga” Association, said, “Volunteerism is a stance and a way of life; a tool that complements our personality and improves our quality of life, with equal benefits both to those who offer and to those who receive. “Floga” constitutes living proof of what volunteerism can achieve. Today, 30 years later, and remaining true to our initial goals, we have achieved considerable progress in improving the hospitalization conditions for our children, and we owe this to society as a whole, which embraced our efforts.”

Ms Tryfonidi thanked the HYGEIA Group’s CEO, Ms Areti Souvatzoglou, and spoke highly of the free-of-charge radiation therapies, surgical procedures, G-Knife treatments, latest technology diagnostic tests and medical opinions the HYGEIA Group has been offering all these years to all the children in need. As she noted, all these have taken place within an environment that “respects the dignity of children and their parents.”

Ms Eleni Vasilatou-Kosmidi, Director of the Oncology Department at Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s Hospital, said, “Cancer in children is a rare disease, constituting less than 1% of all cancer cases detected in people. Every year, this rare disease affects 14 per 100,000 children under 15, and 20 per 100,000 adolescents aged between 15 and 19. The disease cannot be prevented with population-wide screening and directives, and that it is why so much effort is made towards early diagnosis. Despite being a rare disease, it is responsible for 10% of the deaths occurring in children after their first year of life. However, in general, three in four children that develop cancer are cured.”

“Treating a child with cancer requires knowledge, experience, a well-structured interdepartmental team, as well as support and cooperation in order to provide a cure, but also maintain the quality of life for the child and its family,” concluded Ms Vasilatou-Kosmidi.