Children with cancer brought in at advanced stages-A A +A
Monday, January 14, 2013
THE chief pediatric oncologist at the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) said more than 70 percent of child with cancer referred to them are already at the critical stage of the disease, making it more difficult to treat.
Many of their clients come from poor families – another reason why the children are brought in for medical attention at much later stages.
Dr. Mae Dolendo, head of the pediatric-oncology department of SPMC, said Monday that if parents of children with cancer seek immediate medical attention and treatment, the rate of survival of children with cancer may increase.
Dolendo said seven out of 10 of the children referred to SPMC are in the advanced stage of cancer, especially in stage 3.
She said patients with stage 3 cancer have a slimmer chance of total recovery. In general, cancer patient has a 50/50 chance of total recovery and this chance will become even slimmer if the disease has been diagnosed in an advance state.
"Complicated siya at marami nang gasto. They are also more difficult to treat," Dolendo said when asked of her experience in treating children diagnosed with cancer at a more advanced stage.
In SPMC, there are roughly 50 pediatric cancer patients about 16 of them are taking shelter at the House of Hope, a center catering children with cancer of indigent families.
The most common form of cancer that affects children is leukemia – a cancer of the blood cells.
SPMC caters to the entire Mindanao.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 15, 2013.