KOZHIKODE: As Childhood Cancer Day is observed on Thursday, nearly 1,000 new cases are reported in the state, according to oncologists. However, the patients have to depend on the Regional Cancer Centre in the state capital or private hospitals for expert treatments as government medical colleges lack pediatric oncologists. “When nearly 1,000 cases are reported new, only 600 patients are reaching the RCC in Thiruvananthapuram. Less than 100 patients are rich enough to get treatment at the private super speciality hospitals in the state or outside. And the rest have to depend only on the government medical colleges here,” says Dr Narayanankutty Warrier, medical director at MVR Cancer Centre and Research Institute.
He added that the number of seats to learn the doctorate in medicine course is very few, limited to one or two in the state and that is the main reason for the medical colleges in the government sector to hire pediatric oncologists for service. At medical colleges, child patients, mostly blood cancer and brain cancer, are treated by oncologists and not pediatric oncologists. He says 80 to 90 percent childhood cancers are curable with proper treatment. “As in the case of elders, early detection has a crucial role in curing cancer among kids,” Dr Warrier said.