Health experts on Monday stressed timely detection and screening of leukaemia and its awareness among people of all age groups to fight the menace of cancer in children.

Health experts urge early detection, public awareness of leukaemia

Dr Maqbool Hussain, head of the infectious disease unit at The Children Hospital of Pakistan Institute Of Medical Sciences (PIMS), told PTV News that leukaemia is a cancer of the blood and it begins when the bone marrow begins abnormal growth of white blood cells, or leukaemia cells. Leukaemia is the most common cancer diagnosed in children and adolescents younger than 20 years and accounts for 25.1 percent of all cancer cases in this age group, he added. In Pakistan, most of the cases go unreported and are not diagnosed on time due to a general lack of awareness which he said was a major concern for health authorities. Speaking about symptoms of blood cancer, Professor Dr Rizwan Taj, a psychiatrist associated with PIMS, said fever persisting for over a month, bone pain and common viral diseases are the common signs of the disease. “Weight loss in children, as well as nose bleeding resulting in low platelets, is also a symptom of cancer,” he added, urging people to not give up hope at the diagnosis of leukaemia as PIMS offered comprehensive treatment for various kinds of blood cancer. Treatment of these cancers depends on the type of blood cancer,

In complicated cases where aggressive treatments are required, we also have the facility of bone marrow transplants, he said, adding that blood and a host of related products are required for treatment, and PIMS was able to fulfil the demand. Dr Nuzhat Yasmeen, a top pediatrician also associated with PIMS, said cancer remains a major threat to health in Pakistan and around the world, adding that prevention of the disease included offering healthy food, a healthy lifestyle and exercise opportunities to children. She observed World Leukemia Day is celebrated on September 4 every year with the aim of raising awareness about the disease, early diagnosis and providing the patients with treatment. She said that blood cancer is a treatable disease but the government needed to create awareness among the people.

Source: This news is originally published by pakistantoday

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