Hearing the words “your child has cancer” must be one of the most terrifying words a parent can hear and that is why Cupcakes of Hope has designed an infographic to educate the parents on the Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer.
We are very proud of our new and updated info-graphic as we believe early detection can SAVE lives.
With the help of Prof Jennifer Geel, a paediatric oncologist at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, we have made sure that these Childhood Cancer Warning Signs are accurate and relevant. We asked Prof Geel why is it important to educate the parents on these early warning signs.
Prof Geel says: “Parents are the first people to pick up worrying signs in their children. They often report them to medical staff and are ignored or not taken seriously. If parents are educated they can stick to their guns and make sure that their doctors and other medical staff investigate and refer their children rapidly and appropriately. The signs are really simple but knowledge about them can save the lives of their children.”
According to Prof Geel at least 1 in 600 children gets cancer in South Africa. The figure may be up to 1 in 400. Of these, in South Africa, only about a third reach the right place, ie a specialist paediatric oncology unit. Of those who do reach a POU, only half survive in many centres. In Johannesburg, the survival rate is better at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre (about 75% at WDGMC). However, this survival rate still does not reach that of children in other countries such as Brazil. Prof Geel says we need to improve this rate in South Africa, and one of the things that Cupcakes of Hope can do is to help raise awareness so that kids reach the right place more quickly, which gives them a much better chance to fight and beat this disease!