Each year around 35 new cases of childhood cancer are been diagnosed in Cyprus however, 70 to 80 per cent can be cured if diagnosed on time, Health Minister Giorgos Pamporidis said.
In his address to mark World Childhood Cancer Day, read by the health ministry’s permanent secretary Christina Yiannaki, Pamporidis said that childhood cancer is not incurable.
“In Cyprus, annually, new (childhood) cancer cases reach about 35,” he said. This was a ratio corresponding to 1 to 2 per cent of all cancer cases in Cyprus.
He added that even though most cases are curable if diagnosed early, it was unfortunate that worldwide, around 250,000 children become ill each year from the disease, “which although very rare in children, it remains the second most common cause of death in children, after accidents”.
He said that Cyprus’ objective, like the rest of Europe, was that “no child should be lost to cancer.” Towards that end, he said, the guidelines and principles of the ‘European Alliance against Cancer’ are being followed based on early diagnosis and to alert the families and health professionals who come into contact with the child, “to achieve the desired survival rates”.
He added that at the Makarios Hospital operates a ‘high-standard’ Paediatric cancer department, which consists of three separate units: an intensive chemotherapy chamber, a day-care centre, and a central chemotherapy preparation unit.
“The setting is designed for children with a playground and classroom and with facilities provided simultaneously to parents”.