Childhood cancer on the rise in India, say health experts

BENGALURU: Childhood cancers are on the rise, but a common cause for them is yet to be identified. Though most have genetic factors, environmental and infection factors also play a role in some instances.

The incidence of childhood cancer in India ranges from approximately 38 to 124 cases per million children, with over 50,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Over the past two to three decades, it has been on the rise, says a cancer expert from Sammprada Hospital.

Dr Intezar Mehdi, consultant, Paediatrics Oncology and Hematology, at Sammprada Hospital, said, “Typically, signs and symptoms of childhood cancer are subtle and nonspecific. Maintaining a high level of suspicion is crucial for early diagnosis. Parents should be vigilant when it comes to unexplained fever, weight loss, night sweats, enlarged glands in the neck, armpit, or groin, headaches, vomiting, seizures or neurological issues, abdominal or chest swelling, bone pain and swelling, and bleeding, as these could indicate early signs of cancer in children.”

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