“Timely detection of childhood cancer can change the course of this disease. Although most children can be cured, we want to go from 70 to 90 percent,” said the president of the Mexican Association to Help Children with Cancer (AMANC) Yucatán, Marissa Goff Rodríguez.
On the occasion of International Childhood Cancer Day, which is commemorated on February 15, AMANC and the associations “Este Niño Lindo: Fundación Jorge Emilio García Rodríguez”, “Sueños de Ángel” and “Fundación Aitana” highlighted at a press conference the importance of early detection of childhood cancer to offer timely treatment and save their lives. “Although it is not possible to prevent this disease, it is possible to treat it through timely diagnosis in favor of the health of children,” said Marissa Goff.
They reported that, on International Childhood Cancer Day, events and awareness campaigns will be held, in addition to donations being made and funds being raised to support organizations that work against this disease in girls and boys.
Marissa Goff indicated that on behalf of AMANC Yucatán, on Sunday, February 12, there will be a ride within the framework of the “BiciRuta”, starting at 8:30 in the morning. You just have to go with your bicycle and a golden element as a sign of solidarity to children with cancer and their families. On February 15, public spaces will be illuminated in yellow (golden) color.
“The fight against childhood cancer is a global effort and we need to work together to improve medical care, research, and the quality of life of children affected by this disease,” said the president of AMANC Yucatán.
Symptoms of childhood cancer
In her intervention, the specialist in pediatric oncology of the General Hospital “Dr. Agustín O’Horán” from Mérida, Natalia Negroe Ocampo, said that early diagnosis is possible knowing the symptoms of the disease, especially the main types of cancer.
“The most common is leukemia, which usually presents with spontaneous nosebleeds, bruises, or increased volume in lymph nodes abdomen. Brain tumors, which manifest with headaches, vomiting, and a staggering gait, and third, lymphoma, which is characterized by swelling in the neck, persistent fever, weight loss, and night sweats”, he detailed.
For his part, Dr. Pablo González, a pediatric oncologist at the “O’Horán” Hospital, stated that public health institutions provide the necessary supplies and tools to receive treatment, but sometimes it is not enough for the population that is treated in hospital attached to the Yucatan Health Secretariat (SSY).
“There are other needs besides the hospital, such as the emotional, logistical, and financial ones that appear with childhood cancer. In pediatrics we always say that the patient is the family because what affects a child also affects his family,” said the doctor.
He explained that in the case of this condition, it is necessary to make constant trips to the hospital, which translates into expenses, along with food, among other indirect costs of care, for which reason foundations such as the one that meet for this month’s campaign address this problem with funds they receive from donations to solve what public institutions cannot.
While Francisco Pantoja Guillén, head of pediatric oncology at “O’Horán”, stressed that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the treatment of this population, “Since then we can say that we have cared for more than two thousand children and this has increased the probability of cure for our patients. Today there are around 100 girls and boys who are undergoing active treatment at the hospital and an estimated 75 new cases are detected each year,” said the specialist.