Qatar Cancer Society(QCS) has launched a campaign named 'Fadetcom' to raise awareness about childhood cancers. September is marked as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month each year to emphasise the importance of early detection.
Dr Hadi Mohamed Abu Rasheed, head, Professional Development and Scientific Research Department, QCS said, “In 2016, according to Qatar National Cancer Registry, there were 42 children under 15 years old diagnosed with cancer in Qatar and 62% of the cases were males, and 38% were females. Furthermore, 38.1% of the cases were Qataris, while 61.9% were non-Qataris.”
Most common cancers among children in Qatar are leukaemia accounting for 42.86% of all childhood cancer cases in Qatar and brain and central nervous system which represents 11.9% of all childhood cancer cases.
Heba Nassar, head of Health Education Department at QCS – said that environmental radiation, radiation during pregnancy, excessive exposure to the ultraviolet radiation are risk factors and some of childhood cancers are caused by some viral infections. Other causes are active or passive smoking during pregnancy or during the period prior to conception and inherited genetic abnormalities.
Early signs and symptoms of childhood cancers are continued, unexplained weight loss; headache often with early morning vomiting; increased swelling or persistent pain in bones, joints, back or legs; lump or mass, especially in the abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis, or armpits; development of excessive bruising, bleeding, or rash; constant infections; a whitish colour behind the pupil among others.