ALMOST half of children with cancer are going undiagnosed and untreated, a new global study has found.
Scientists say that 43% of cases were missed around the world with the situation varying substantially based on the region.
Getty – Contributor Almost half of children with cancer are going undiagnosed and untreated, a new global study has found
The problem ranged from an estimated 3% of cases in western Europe and north America, to 57% in western Africa and 49% in south Asia in 2015.
Based on their research, the experts that carried out the US report now estimate that 2.9million cases of childhood cancer will be missed in the next 11 years.
Zachary Ward, who co-authored the research from Harvard University, said: “A lot of these children unfortunately are dying at home untreated.
“Cancer survival even among diagnosed cases is already poor in these countries, but it is going to be basically 0% for children if they are not identified.”
He explained that many children faced challenges accessing healthcare or their symptoms could be confused with other conditions including TB or malaria.
According to the report, published in the Lancet Oncology journal, the team built a computer model to compare data from cancer registries from 77 countries.
It suggested that there were an estimated 397,000 cases of cancer worldwide in 2015, with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia the most common type of childhood cancer.
However, only an estimated 224,000 children were diagnosed with any form of cancer, leaving 43% of cases completely missed.
SPOTTING THE SYMPTOMS
Cancer symptoms can be very similar to those of other childhood illnesses – and they vary between children.
According to Cancer Research UK, there are 15 signs to look out for:
Unable to wee, or has blood in their wee
An unexplained lump, firmness or swelling anywhere in their body
Persistent abdominal pain or swelling
Back pain or bony pain that doesn’t go away
Unexplained seizures or changes in behaviour
Headaches that don’t go away
Frequent or unexplained bruising, unusual paleness or a rash of small red or purple spots that can’t be explained
Feeling tired all the time
Frequent infections or flu-like symptoms
Unexplained fever (high temperatures) or sweating
Unexplained weight loss
Feeling short of breath
Changes in appearance of the eye or unusual eye reflections in photos
It is normal to worry if your child has symptoms of any illness, but it’s important to remember cancer is very rare in children.
As with all cancers, early diagnosis is crucial so if you have any concerns make a visit to your GP.
CANCER RESEARCH UK These are the 15 signs and symptoms of cancer in children
Instagram videos of siblings Kalea and Noah Avery who are fighting the same rare brain cancer
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.