|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính visits a cancer patient at the National Paediatrics Hospital in May this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
HÀ NỘI — About 2,500 children in Việt Nam suffer from cancer every year, said doctor Bùi Ngọc Lan.
Lan, director of the Cancer Centre under the National Paediatrics Hospital, revealed the information in the programme "Con thuyền mơ ước" (Ship of Dreams), organised on Sunday in Hà Nội.
The programme aims to improve people's awareness of children's cancer.
She added that about 280,000 under-19-year-olds are diagnosed with cancer worldwide every year. In developed countries, more than 80 per cent of the patients are cured. However, in low- and average-income countries, the rate is only 20 per cent.
Speaking at the programme, H.Q, 15, who used to be a cancer patient, said that his family brought him from Đà Nẵng to Hà Nội for treatment.
"At that time, I was very young and did not fully understand what was happening. I only saw my mother crying a lot," he said.
In October 2010, two days before Q.'s third birthday, he received test results of blood cancer.
Trần Thị Phương, Q.'s mother, said, "We are farmers from Thanh Hóa who moved to Đà Nẵng to set up our business in 2008. We had a lot of difficulties. We had to rent a house to live in temporarily. By 2010, when our family economy was not stable, we still had to take care of Q.'s cancer treatment. The treatment for my son makes our situation worse."
Phương's husband had to do every work to raise the whole family while Phương accompanied Q. during his treatment.
"Many times, my eyes were filled with tears," she said.
After three years of treatment, in December 2013, Q.'s situation improved.
He was hospitalised when he was six.
Now Q. is a 10th grader in a stable health condition.
Q. said, "My family found it very hard, they thought everything was over when I got the disease. But now it's different. I'm healthy. Now health sector has been developed, patients have a better chance of fighting the disease.
"I hope that sick people will persevere in treatment to get the same results as me, even though it's painful, don't give up," he said.
Doctor Lan said that according to statistics around the world, although childhood cancer is rare, it is the leading cause of disease-related deaths in children and adolescents.
With advancements in science, technology and medicine, the rate of children recovering from cancer has increased, bringing normal life to many pediatric patients.
Doctor Cao Việt Tùng, deputy director of the National Paediatrics Hospital, called for all people to unite in action and ideas and closely work with each other to best support children with cancer and their families to have better access to care and treatment.
Individuals and organisations can help children with cancer through health insurance or charity funds.
The International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) takes the yellow ribbon as the symbol of pediatric cancer.
February 15 is Children's Cancer Day, and September is cancer awareness month for children worldwide.
Around the world, September is a time to organise national health campaigns, including fundraising for children with cancer, and develop policies to support research to raise awareness about childhood cancer.
The SIOP has connected many countries and supported many families worldwide for over 50 years.
Recently, the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) was established with the desire to help countries achieve a child cancer survival rate of at least 60 per cent by 2030.
The National Paediatrics Hospital is a member of the GICC, committed to supporting children with cancer. — VNS