Recognize Cancer Signs Very Early

Parents need to recognize the signs of cancer since early childhood. Hopefully, if parents found it, they will be alerted and bring their children to the doctor. If it treated as soon as posible, cancer therapy in children is easier and would likely be succeed.

It was revealed in the Kompas Daily Health Discussion Forum in cooperation with Siloam Hospital with the title "Recognize and Overcome Cancer in Children", in Jakarta, Saturday (25/2).

Oncology Hematology Consultant Pediatrician at Siloam Hospital MRCCC, Semanggi, Jakarta, Prof Moeslichan, said, cancer in children is about two percent of the total number of cancer cases. However, the impact was huge, not only the medical impact on patients but also the psychosocial impact for the families. "So it is important for parents to recognize the signs of cancer in children," He said.

One of the ways that can be done by parents is to check the children's body, for example, when bathing them. Check if there's a suspicious lump of tumor. If there are abnormal lumps, parents should take their children to the doctor to make sure that the lump is malignant or not. "Not all lumps or tumors are malignant," he said.

Some parts of the child's body that need special attention are the eyes, neck, abdomen, genitals (for boys), hands, or feet. If there's a lump, children should be taken to the doctor.

Besides the solid type in form of a lump, child cancer also could be in liquid form, i.e, leukemia or blood cancer. That cancer attacks the bone marrow which produces blood. Leukemia is the type of cancer that is commonly known in children. Parents need to be vigilant if their children are oftenly pale, having fever without any cause, bleeding skin or gum, or nosebleeds. If the child has three signs or two, they could be suspected with leukemia.

"It is very important that parents recognize the signs of leukemia," he said. If in advanced stadium, as the circulation in the body, leukemia spreads to other organs, like the brain, skin, gums, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and testis.

Routine check
According to the Director of Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases Ministry of Health, Lily Sriwahyuni Sulistyowati, in the prevention of cancer, the government prioritize promotive and preventive efforts to improve the knowledge and awareness of the citizens about children's cancers. Quality of service is also enhanced. "Parents need to regularly check their children to health facilities with growth and development card," she said.

So far, national registration for children's cancer cases has not been existed yet. According to the Dharmais Cancer Hospital registration in 2010, 62 percent of children cancers cases are in advanced stage (stage III or above). Children's cancers cases in stage I are only 16,3 percent and stage II are about 21.7 percent.

Cancer treatment need huge cost. In 2015, the Social Security Agency of Health (BPJS Kesehatan) release Rp. 2.9 trillion of fund for treating l300 cancer patients. In 2014, the cost of therapy for cancer patients covered by BPJS around Rp. 1 trillion for approximately 700 patients.

The Chairman of Yayasan Kasih Anak Kanker Indonesia (YKAKI), Ira Soelistyo explained, the cost of treatment are no longer be an obstacle in the treatment of children's cancer treatment because it is covered by BPJS Kesehatan. However, poor patient's families still need accommodation cost while undergoing a therapy. Moreover, the number of hospitals and doctors that can handle children's cancers are limited and only exist in big cities.

Related to that, YKAKI opened nine shelters for children's cancers patients which spread in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Manado, Semarang, and Malang.

Source: KOMPAS, Monday, Februari 27, 2017 | Page 14

Date Release: 
Monday, March 6, 2017 - 15:00