The BBC last week regurgitated old reports derived from the Eurocare programme showing much of European cancer diagnosis and care was superior to the
But it did draw my attention to two deserving pieces in the latest issue of Lancet Oncology about paediatric oncology (here and here, but you will have to complete the free registration).
In the first, entitled Political momentum and paediatric oncology, the author (seemingly American) states “the increasing politicisation of paediatric oncology should bring further benefits” … couldn’t agree more, “hear, hear”!
The piece pointed to the rally that Lauren and Fergus attended at the US Congress in June supporting the proposed Conquer Childhood Cancer Act to provide USD 150 million of new funding for paediatric oncology research over five years. And the Lancet reports this has gone into a quagmire of congressional committee stages.
The second Lancet piece, UK childhood cancer survival falling behind the rest of EU?, looked at a 2001 Eurocare study of paediatric oncology care from 1978-1992, comparing paediatric care in different countries across Europe, rather than the newer 2003 Eurocare study of the period 1990-94.In both studies the
Paediatric screening and therefore rapid diagnosis does seem to be a big problem – in
She is not a Health Screener and our GP, in his contract, has not been given, the job of screening every perinatal in the country .
So it is up to the GP to identify an abnormal condition when the parents take their child in with a “common” complaint,
So my GP should be screening my child … but, hey, the government didn’t put it in his/her contract …
Two statements stand out from these two Lancet pieces:
“Paediatric oncology has long been the poor relation of adult oncology: treatment developments are slow and children are often given older medicine or regimens, or drug doses adjusted from adult schema without an appropriate evidence-base.”
“Sub-optimum survival is just one of example of the worse state of children’s health care in the