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Juvenile cancer rises threefold in Gandhinagar

All children suffering from the disease are being treated at govt hospitals free of charge.

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Juvenile cancer rises threefold in Gandhinagar
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Cancer afflicting children seems unfair as if the disease ought to know that it should spare kids as they have not yet lived life to the full. But the malignant disease has no such sensitivities. In fact, in Ahmedabad alone, the number of children diagnosed with cancer has gone up threefold in the last one year.

This startling statistic has been revealed in the report on the School Health Programme for the year 2011-12. All the affected children are being treated free at government hospitals but even doctors have no idea why the incidence of cancer in children has risen so sharply in the city.

In the absence of research to find the exact reason for this rise in malignancies in children, oncologists believe that pollution and the growing use of pesticides in farming could be among the reasons for more children falling prey to the disease.

In 2011-12, during to a health check-up among school-going kids in the state, a total of 294 schoolchildren were found to have cancer. Of these, nearly 50% are children of schools in AMC area and in Bharuch district.

A total of 74 children of schools within AMC limits and 72 children in Bharuch district were found to have cancer. In 2010-2011, the total number of schoolchildren with cancer was 213, out which 22 were from AMC area and only one from Bharuch district. Last year, Junagadh Municipal Corporation area had 42 children with cancer, the highest in the state.  All children found to have serious ailments of the heart and kidney, besides cancer, during the health check-up, are being treated free of cost at government hospitals.

State health and family welfare minister Jay Narayan Vyas informed the assembly on March 23 that, in last three years, the state government had provided free treatment to 21,645 children suffering from serious ailments. Of these, 3,040 children were cancer patients.

“The state government is bearing all the expenses of their medical treatment,” Vyas said.

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