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Have a heart for children with cancer

Categories: ALL THE NEWS , Health
The 15th of February 2017 is International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD).

This day was started as a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children with cancer, survivors and their families. In developed countries, childhood cancer has become largely curable with the overall survival rate reaching between 70% and 80% whereas in South Africa the rate is only at about 50%.

CHOC aims to improve this rate through the early detection awareness training which affords early diagnosis enabling a better chance of being cured and that the survival rate increases.

In support of ICCD, we urge the community to wear blue with your ICCD badge or heart pin on February 15, or the days leading up to it, just as thousands of school-children and corporates will be doing throughout the country.  Blue pants, blue shirts, blue suits, blue dresses, blue ribbons, blue hearts, anything blue everywhere.  It will all help in the effort to spread the message. In addition to wearing blue one can also buy a loved one a delicious chocolate or a trendy “have a heart for children with cancer badge” or heart pin.

You can also visit the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation website – www.choc.org.za – to purchase the badges on their online store or to find out about the early warning signs of childhood cancer. Knowing about these signs, and passing on your knowledge could well save a precious child’s life.
ICCD video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBiPDp4f4sA&feature=youtu.be (New video)

How rife is childhood cancer?

Sadly the incidence is growing. According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of childhood cancer globally is around 160,000 new cases each year. Fortunately, through the advances made in treatment, childhood cancer is largely curable. In developed countries like the US, UK and Japan, eight or nine out of ten kids survive to live productive and meaningful lives.

The survival rate in the UK, for example, has increased from 10% 40 years ago to 90% today. In contrast, the survival rate of the most common childhood cancers in South Africa is a poor 52,1%*. This, however, is far better than other developing countries because our children, thankfully, can be referred to paediatric oncology units at state-funded academic hospitals. Unfortunately in many cases the cancer in most of the children referred is already in advanced stages, which significantly reduces the chances of survival.

Early detection can dramatically change this scenario. The South African Children's Cancer Study Group (SACCSG) has developed a set of early warning signs for childhood cancer, which has been adopted by the International Society of Paediatric Oncology.
Leaflets detailing these early warning signs are available from CHOC as part of the organisations’ Awareness Programme, which includes training health care workers, traditional healers, and communities in detecting these vital early warning signs.   To date CHOC has trained 18 000 people, which has led to a noticeable increase in referrals.

CHOC is the only organisation in South Africa that provides nationwide physical and psychosocial support to children with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders – and their families! The organisation, which has a head office, eight regional offices and twelve accommodation facilities, also supports the specialist treatment facilities in academic hospitals.

Support this International Childhood Cancer Day – Monday, February 15. Have a heart for children with cancer.

You can also watch the International Childhood Cancer Day video:


For more information about CHOC, join the CHOC Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHOC-Childhood-Cancer-Foundation-SA/1519454698270658

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