For the twentieth year is the World Childhood Cancer Day wanted by Childhood Cancer International (CCI).
The event is held every 15 February and is an annual event to renew the commitment of the scientific world and all those families affected by this tragedy in continue to fight together with your little ones.
The day was conceived in 2002 by Childhood Cancer International and is celebrated all over the world. An international network of 171 members in 88 countries is committed to raising public awareness on the issue. The aim is to reduce infant mortality due to cancer.
On September 28, 2018, WHO announced at the United Nations its new global initiative against the huge disparities between the survival expectancy of children with cancer in poor and rich countries.
More than 300,000 children under 18 are diagnosed with cancer each year. About 8 out of 10 live in developing countries and their survival expectancy is 20%. In richer countries the percentage rises to 80%.
The aim is to reach a survival rate of 60% even in less fortunate countries by 2030.
Every year in Italy about 1400 children and 800 teenagers get cancer or leukemia. Thanks to advances in science, about 80% of them will recover. However, there are still no effective therapies for the remaining 20%. Today in the western general population one in a thousand adults is a person who has recovered from cancer in childhood. Precisely by virtue of the improved prognosis, in the future the will will remain high to further increase the possibility of recovery of a child with cancer and to perfect the transition capacity of our patients towards the adult world.
The most common tumors in pediatric age
According to the Maternal Infantile Irccs “Burlo Garofolo”, “the prevalent pathology is represented by acute lymphatic leukemia followed by tumors of the Central Nervous System, lymphomas and sarcomas of the soft parts and bone. There are also some specific pathologies of the pediatric age such as nephroblastoma, renal tumor and neuroblastoma, a tumor that can arise from the adrenal glands or from the paravertebral ganglia “.
Childhood cancer in Italy
As reported by the Ministry of Health, in Italy they get cancer every year (lymphomas and solid tumors) or leukemia over 1500 children and beyond 900 teenagers. It is estimated that today in Italy there are more than 44,000 people who have had cancer as children and their average age is currently around 30.
Thanks to the progress of the last decades, about the80% of sick people recover. In recent years, excellent levels of treatment and healing have been achieved for leukemias and lymphomas, but healing for brain tumors, neuroblastomas and osteosarcomas still remain low.
In addition, about 50% of the drugs currently used to fight pediatric cancers, which occur in over 60 different types and subtypes, are not authorized for pediatric use, and are used “off label” (without pediatric registration), adapting to children medicines for adults. In the last 10 years in Europe, compared to the experimentation of new anticancer drugs for adults, there are still very few studied for the pediatric age.
In Italy Fiagop, the Italian Federation of Pediatric Oncohematology Parent Associations, is at the forefront to raise public awareness on the issue. This year, in collaboration with the AIEOP (Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology), it has fielded several initiatives up as of February 28, 2021.
14 and 15 February 2021– The FIAGOP federations, together with many other realities that recognize themselves in the mission, will give life to the third edition of the green and solidarity initiative “WE GIVE ROOTS TO HOPE, WE PLANT A POMEGRANATE”. Alongside the planting of pomegranates, the program includes activities to encourage the consumption of the fruit, the symbol of FIAGOP. The pomegranate, formed by the union of many grains, wants to represent the therapeutic alliance that is established between doctors, patients, families, and parents’ associations in the fight against childhood cancer. To participate from home, if you have a garden or a balcony, the invitation is to buy a pomegranate seedling and plant it, or give life to a new plant from a cutting of a sapling already available, following the simple steps illustrated in a tutorial published by Fiagop on its social networks, together with those of many tasty recipes based on pomegranate. For everyone, the invitation is to take a selfie next to their tree or photograph or film their culinary creation and then share it all on their favorite social network using the hashtags. #diamoradiciallasperanza # ICCD2021 #iostoconfiagop.
From the 15 to 28 February 2021 FIAGOP proposes the first edition of the initiative “I WANT YOU A LOT OF GOOD” to raise awareness of donating blood, plasma, platelets, and bone marrow donation. The invitation is to go to the transfusion centers of the territories to which they belong and is addressed to the volunteers of the associations involved but also to all citizens sensitive to the issue. The donor is invited to take a selfie during the donation and then share it on his social networks, using the hashtags #unasaccadibene #iodono #iostoconfiagop.
On the occasion of today’s World Day against Childhood Cancer, the Maternal and Infant Irccs “Burlo Garofolo” will publish a video interview with Dr. Marco Rabusin, the nursing coordinator of the Francesca Marrazzo ward, the psychologist Laura Pomicino and the teacher Roberta Gasperini, representative of the school in the hospital.