Backing for cancer plight

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Health chiefs at NHS Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group have backed a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer.

International Childhood Cancer Day took place on Sunday and promotes increased appreciation and deeper understanding of issues and challenges impacting childhood cancer and the survivors. It also spotlights the need for more equitable and better access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere.

Dr Avi Bhatia, Chair of NHS Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are joining with groups across the world to raise awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer. These include the importance of early diagnosis and the difficulties - physical and emotional - that children face throughout their treatment.

“Dramatic improvements in the treatment and management of childhood cancer over the last four decades mean that many children diagnosed with cancer today have an excellent chance of being cured of their disease. However, it’s important to remember that despite the best efforts of everyone there are some families who have to bear the painful loss of a precious child.”

In the UK an average of around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, that’s 30 children every week. Around one in 500 children in the UK will develop some form of cancer by 14 years of age.

Leukaemia is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in children. Leukaemia, brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours and lymphomas account for more than two-thirds of all cancers diagnosed in children.

Five-year survival for children’s cancer has more than doubled since the late 1960s.

It is estimated that there are at least 33,000 people in the UK alive having been diagnosed with a childhood cancer and survived more than five years. Three-quarters of children with cancer are now cured, compared with around a quarter in the late 1960s.