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‘Children who survive cancer need hand-holding for their life ahead’

Dr Gauri KapoorThe survivors of childhood cancer need advice, guidelines, care, and counseling to ensure that they lead a long and healthy life, said Dr Gauri Kapoor, Director Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Medical Director, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Delhi, while speaking at an event organised recently to raise awareness among the childhood cancer survivors about ways to stay healthy after beating it.

“As more and more children overcome their illness and get back to normal lives, the focus shifts to ensuring that they lead a long and healthy life. It is therefore important that the childhood cancer survivors and their parents understand that there may be long term effects of the primary disease as well as its treatment,” Dr Kapoor said.

“It is therefore our responsibility as the primary care providers to help them learn details about their treatment exposures, identify and screen for treatment-related health risks, screen for the co-morbid conditions, and counsel regarding risk reduction methods,” she added.

The event, “Celebrating Life 2017,” was designed with the intent of bringing the survivors together and giving them an opportunity to share and connect with those who have been through the same experience, as also to increase awareness.
It created an environment of trust and support for the children who have survived this disease and their family.

“A child who has survived cancer has their entire life ahead of them and it is important that they receive the right care and counseling for a wholesome recovery. According to PBCR reports for 2012-2014 the proportion of childhood cancers relative to cancers in all age groups varied between – 0.7 per cent and 4.4 per cent which is lower than previous reported proportion of 0.5-5.8 per cent for 2006-2011,” said Dr Shalini Misra, Consultant Pediatric surgical Oncologist at RGCI.

The event was marked with a series of dance performances by children, a career counseling session, life skills session by a professional, and a musical performance.

The survivors and their families received knowledge and information in an environment of fun and relaxation in stalls that offered body and nail art, tattoos, selfie clicking, and a career counseling desk to help them explore options for a bright future. The cultural program ended with an exhilarating fashion show where the participating children and young adults walked the ramp with fervor and confidence; defying all odds.

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