More children stricken
- An increasing number of children below 15 years of age are stricken by
cancer, disclosed Dr Ong Gek Bee who is Resident Consultant Pediatric
Oncologist with the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) yesterday.
said the total number of children in Malaysia suffering from cancer in
1995 was 581 or about 79.9 persons per million children.
"We have been collecting our own data since 1997 and for the last three years, we found that approximately one child below 12 years old is being diagnosed with cancer per week," she disclosed in her presentation at the launch of the Sarawak Children Cancer Society (SCCS) at the SGH here.
was officiated by Welfare and Women's
Affairs Assistant Minister Datuk Paduka Hajah Sharifah Mordiah binte
Tuanku Fauzi who is also the patron of the society.
Ong said common types. of cancer affecting children were leukemia
(30-35%), brain tumour (20%), neuroblastoma (67%), Wilm's tumour (5-7%)
and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (4-7%).
said the actual cause of cancer among children was as yet unknown though
it could be attributed to genetic factors or the environment.
children warded at the Oncology Ward of SGH were given chemotherapy,
radiotherapy, supportive care, religious and recreational activities, she
Datin Paduka Hajah Sharifah Mordiah binte Tuanku Fauzi in her opening
address commended SCCS for its role in helping children afflicted by
cancer and their parents go through a difficult
urged the committee to organise more activities for the public. She also
called on members of the public to support SCCS activities.
who is also chairman of Sarawak Children Council, later presented a cheque
for RM3,000 to the society, and assured that her ministry would contribute
RM30,000 towards its activities.
to SCCS president Peter Wong, the society is a non-profit voluntary
organisation whose mission is to provide relief and care to children
suffering from cancer and their families, as well as educate the public on
the control, diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer.
immediate plan is to purchase equipment like pinprick blood-analysing
machines for painless blood testing, IV medication injection pumps and
drugs, engaging qualified teachers to conduct in-house schooling for children
undergoing treatment, educate parents on the disease and treatment, and
organising a food fair on 11 August.