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The mere mention of the word "CANCER" can evoke fear, especially when it affects children. Despite being considered almost unthinkable and unacceptable, it's time to confront this issue with facts. Society as a whole must contribute to improving survival rates for childhood cancers. We need to support these children emotionally, socially, medically, and financially, dispelling myths and taboos surrounding the term.
Pediatric cancers cast a dark shadow on the lives of countless children and their families, representing a leading cause of mortality among children globally. Despite advancements in medical research and treatment, the battle against pediatric cancers remains a challenging and urgent priority. Children are diagnosed daily with cancers like leukemia, brain tumors, neuroblastoma, and sarcomas, thrusting them into a grueling battle against an invisible enemy. Treating pediatric cancers presents unique challenges compared to adult cancers, with harsh side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, along with delayed diagnosis.
Cancer is a major cause of death in children, particularly in developed countries. While there have been significant advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, the 5-year survival rate for children with cancer is approximately 80% in high-income countries but only up to 40% in low- and middle-income countries, where the majority of affected children reside. The challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries include difficulties in accessing supportive care, insurance coverage, and establishing a national cancer control system.
Despite improved medical care, childhood cancer survivors remain at risk of recurrence, subsequent primary cancers, chronic disorders, and functional impairments. Survivors with subsequent primary cancers may have a poorer prognosis than those without prior childhood cancers. Cancer therapy brings additional challenges, such as increased financial stress, limited work opportunities, and psychological issues, all contributing to a decreased quality of life and societal burden.
It is crucial to identify specific childhood cancer burdens and address them urgently. While the global childhood cancer burden has decreased over the past 30 years, it remains higher in lower income countries. Effective interventions and collaborations between nations should be promoted to enhance healthcare for children with cancer in low or middle income countries.
While there have been general enhancements in the chances of survival in pediatric oncology and positive results for various childhood cancers in affluent regions, cancer remains the primary cause of death among children aged below 14. The hospitals mentioned here are recognized as some of the best pediatric oncology hospitals in the world.
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) stands as the largest children's cancer unit in the United Kingdom and holds the title of the most extensive oncology center in Europe. Researchers at GOSH prioritize understanding the genetic characteristics of each child's cancer to align their profile with suitable clinical trials and treatments tailored to maximize effectiveness.
The Haematology and Oncology team at GOSH provides comprehensive care for children with cancer, spanning from blood-related issues to solid tumors. Their expertise extends from treating more common forms of leukemia to addressing rare pediatric cancers such as neuroblastoma. In recognition of its status as one of the world's premier children's cancer hospitals, GOSH secured £1.7 million in grant funding in 2021 from Cancer Research UK-Children at the Cancer UK Innovation Awards.
Recognized as the leading children's hospital for eight consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report, the Dana-Farber Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Centre provides a unified program in hematology and pediatric oncology. Their specialized focus encompasses five key clinical areas: Blood Disorders, Brain Tumors, Hematologic Malignancy, Liver Tumors, and Solid Tumors. Serving as New England's Phase I referral center for the Children's Oncology Group (COG), the hospital facilitates clinical trials for drugs currently in the investigational stage.
Each year, Sick Kids handles 275 new cases of pediatric cancer in children, accounting for 20% of all new pediatric cancer cases in Canada. The cases vary, with approximately 40% diagnosed with leukemia/lymphoma, 30% having a solid tumor malignancy like sarcoma, and the remaining 30% presenting with a brain tumor.
The Pediatric Haematology/Oncology Division at Sick Kids is among the largest departments in the hospital, offering diagnostic services and specialized care for children under 18 years old dealing with cancer (pediatric oncology), non-malignant blood diseases (pediatric hematology), and haematopoietic stem cell (blood and marrow) transplantation.
This department has received Accreditation with Exemplary Standing, the highest possible standing from Accreditation Canada. Additionally, Sick Kids is recognized as one of the premier children's hospitals globally.
Established in 1914, the team in pediatric oncology and hematology at Alder Hey annually provides care for more than 120 children and young individuals with cancer, catering to over 300,000 young patients with various pediatric conditions each year. Specifically, they offer a dedicated unit for teenagers aged 13 to 18.
Alder Hey is widely respected for its pediatric clinical research endeavors focusing on children's medicines, infection, inflammation, and oncology. The hospital actively manages over 100 ongoing studies at any given time.
Under the supervision of either a Consultant Pediatric Oncologist or a Consultant Pediatric Hematologist specializing in the treatment of solid cancers or leukemia, all patients receive personalized care. Alder Hey holds the distinction of being the first pediatric hospital accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its efforts in public health promotion.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, located in New Delhi, India, was established in 1996 and currently boasts 1000 beds. This multi-specialty hospital has received accreditation from both NABL and JCI. As part of the Apollo Group, which operates across 64 hospitals, over 2,200 pharmacies, 100 primary care and diagnostic clinics, and 115 telemedicine units in nine countries, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital holds a prominent position. The hospital encompasses 52 specialties, offering a comprehensive range of medical services under one roof.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital holds the distinction of being the first hospital in India to perform a Pediatric Liver Transplant in 1998. It has achieved top rankings in various specialties, including Neurosciences, Renal Sciences, Oncology, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Obstetrics, and Emergency, according to The Times Of India Healthcare Survey 2016.
Acknowledged as the 6th Best Private Hospital in India for Cardiology by The WEEK in the Best Hospital Survey 2013 conducted by A C Nielsen, the hospital has also received a Special Commendation for the Golden Peacock Environment Management Award for its environmental practices, as recognized by a jury chaired by Justice P. N. Bhagwati, Former Chief Justice of India.
The pediatric surgical oncology unit at the hospital comprises seasoned specialists with profound expertise in diverse cancer types. This encompasses neuroblastoma, as well as tumors affecting the brain and bones, along with other uncommon and challenging-to-treat cancers.
Their comprehensive Oncology Program adopts an integrative approach, blending conventional and complementary methods to address pediatric cancer comprehensively, considering medical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects. The Division of Oncology garnered the top spot in the United States, as per the US News & World Report for the year 2021-22. Additionally, it was recognized as the Most Innovative Hospital by Parents Magazine.
Read More:The Best Doctors In The World
Fortis Memorial Research Institute, situated in Gurgaon, India, was established in 2001 and currently offers 300 beds in a super-specialty setting. The Fortis brand, initiated in 1996, has expanded to encompass over 55 facilities, providing healthcare services both in India and internationally. As an NABH accredited multi-specialty tertiary care hospital, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) earned the second position in a global study evaluating the 30 most technologically advanced hospitals worldwide, conducted by 'topmastersinhealthcare.com.'
Revered as the 'Mecca of Healthcare' for the Asia Pacific region, FMRI specializes in various fields, including Oncology, Cardiac Sciences, Neurosciences, Emergency & Trauma, Bone & Joint, Renal Sciences, Gastro Sciences, Critical Care, and Organ Transplants.
The initial and leading facility in Korea for the diagnosis and treatment of childhood and adolescent cancers is the pediatric and adolescent cancer ward. This hospital dedicated to pediatric oncology also engages in extensive research and clinical trials focused on these conditions.
Expert Oncologists handle around 1200 cases of cancer in children and adolescents each year. Additionally, the hospital has established Korea's first pediatric palliative care team. Seoul National University Hospital holds the top position in the Korea Brand Power Index survey and received the Medical Korea Award from the President of Korea in 2013.
Regarded as one of Spain's top ranked pediatric oncology hospitals, the Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Unit stands out. It holds the distinction of being the first to conduct complex hematopoietic stem cell transplants in children and serves as the sole GMP facility for cell and gene therapies for children in the country. In 2020, the hospital initiated a new clinical trial initiative examining Celyvir therapy for treating solid tumors in children in collaboration with the National Centre for Cancer Research (CNIO).
The Oncology Division at Johns Hopkins Children's Center is staffed by best pediatric oncology specialists in the world, providing complete care for children suffering from all forms of cancer as well as support to their whole families.
Their staff consists of specialists sensitive to the special problems experienced by children with cancer. These also include pediatric subspecialty physicians, palliative care specialists, child life professionals, social workers and rehabilitation medicine experts as well professionals providing home care.
The division of pediatric oncology aims principally at providing treatments based on evidence based medicine. The division's national prominence is reflected in its ranking last year in the U.S. News & World Report of Best Children’s Hospitals list for pediatric cancer care.
Q1: What is the best cancer hospital for children in the world?
A: The Oncology Division at Johns Hopkins Children's Center is staffed by specialists and subspecialists who are among the best in the world, providing complete care for children suffering from all forms of cancer as well as support to their whole families. This makes it one of the best cancer hospitals for children in the world.
Q2: What is the best pediatric hospital in the world?
A: Each year, Sick Kids handles 275 new cases of pediatric cancer in children, accounting for 20% of all new pediatric cancer cases in Canada. This makes it one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world.
Q3: What are the top 5 cancer hospitals in the country?
A: All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, Tata Memorial Hospital, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, and American Oncology Institute (AOI) Hyderabad are top 5 cancer hospitals in India.
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