With about 80 per cent of children afflicted with cancer losing their lives to the scourge, medical experts have shifted focus to prevention, while alerting the public especially parents and caregivers on signs and symptoms to watch out for in kids.
According to a paediatrician adopting the Saint Siluan Warning Signs will help the public detect signs and symptoms of childhood cancer on time and pave way for treatment before the ailment gets out of hand. Consultant Paediatrician, Dr. Nneka Nwobbi who unveiled these recently in Lagos, said it has become necessary to reverse the trend of high death rate of children coming down with cancers and assured that it is doable.
To achieve this goal therefore, she said any child that is suspected of having cancer, must as a matter of urgency seek medical help for persistent symptoms. She disclosed these to mark the 2016 Awareness on Childhood Cancer, when over 300 participants engaged in a walk from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idiaraba, Lagos to the National Stadium in Surulere and back to LUTH in September. September was designated as Childhood Cancer Month.
A second walk was also carried out simultaneously on the same day from Dowen College, Lekki to Ikoyi link Bridge and back to Dowen College. During the walk, fliers were distributed to the public, educating them on the signs to watch out for in children. Speaking further, the consultant paediatrician said among symptoms to watch out for in kids are white spots in the eye, new squint, blindness, bulging eyeball; lump in the abdomen and pelvis, head and neck limps, testis and glands.
Also, Nwobbi who is also the founder of Children Living With Cancer Foundation, CLWCF, said other signs to watch out for include unexplained fever, loss of weight and appetite, pallor, fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding from the gum or the urine.Similarly, she noted that aching bones, joints, back and easy fractures should be followed up so as to get to the root of the matter.
Not to be left out, according to the founder of CLWCF, are change in behaviour, balance gait and milestones, headaches and enlarging heads. “Many children in our country are never diagnosed because their symptoms are not recognised or they are diagnosed too late for effective treatment.
By: Appolonia Adeyemi
New Telegraph News