Category Archives: Blog

Childhood Cancers on the Rise in Ghana


my-child-matter-fight-against-childhood-cancer-2Childhood cancer is on the increase in Ghana with only two out of ten children with cancer surviving in the country.

Mr Dennis Ocansey, the Programme Manager of the Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme (NCD) at the Korle-bu Teaching hospital has indicated that childhood cancers have increased in the country over the years.

He said the country has in recent years been recording close to 1,000 childhood cancers annually among children below fifteen years.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Ocansey said the causes of many of these childhood cancers were largely unknown but resulted from the genetic predisposition of some patients, environmental factors such as radiation, pesticides and some drugs which increase the risk of developing cancer.

Common cancers among children nowadays are Lymphomas-cancer of the lymphoid tissues, leukaemia cancer of the blood cells, Retinoblastoma-cancer of the eye, Nephroblastoma-cancer of the kidney, cancers of muscle or bone in different parts of the body as well as brain cancers,” he said.

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Michael Bublé’s Son Cancer-Free!


michael-buble-with-noah-who-has-just-turned-threeMichael Bublé and his wife, Luisana Lopilato’s 3 year old son Noah was diagnosed with a very rare type of liver cancer, which affects only 1 in 1 million children, in November, 2016. The parents immediately sought the best treatment and Noah then underwent a 4-month journey of treatment.

In early February, Noah’s Aunt Daniela Lopilato, a nutritionist, who was also the one who shared the news that Noah’s diagnosis was liver cancer back in November, shared the happy news that Noah is cancer-free on Argentinian daytime TV.

Michael and his family chose to keep Noah’s exact diagnosis private, but it is most likely Paediatric Hepatoblastoma, the most common form of liver cancer affecting children.

Treatment in most cases involves surgery to reduce the size of the tumour with chemotherapy, then surgery to remove the cancerous part of the liver.

The liver is one of the few human organs that can grow back. More chemotherapy post surgery generally ensures that the cancer cannot return.

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Childhood Leukemia Patients with Down Syndrome


Children with Down Syndrome carry an elevated risk of developing Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), the most common paediatric cancer.

Research consistently shows that children with Down Syndrome are more apt to suffer complications from chemotherapy treatment. Some studies have also suggested that children with Down Syndrome ALL may have a higher chance of relapsing.

The medical fraternity has for a long time sought an answer to whether, due to the increased susceptibility to the toxicities of chemotherapy, ALL patients with Down syndrome should receive modified treatment to minimise this risk or be given the same treatment as other children with ALL to minimise the chance for relapse.

A new study from researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, suggests the latter for patients treated on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium protocols.

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Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Children with Cancer


healthy-smoothiesDoctors have yet to find a definitive link between cancer and food. What they have found, however, is a correlation between certain diets — such as the Mediterranean Diet — and the potential for cancer reduction. Doctors call these diets (often specific to a culture or geographical region) anti-angiogenic, which means that they cut off the blood supply of cancerous tumours, starving them of the nutrients they need to grow.

An easy way to ensure that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient vitamins and nutrition when they find it difficult to eat due to cancer treatments is to make them some delicious cancer-beating smoothies to drink using fruit and veg that have cancer-fighting properties in them

Smoothies have gotten a bad rap in the past for being sugar-laden and more closely resembling dessert than anything remotely healthy, but while that might be true for smoothies purchased at juice shops or in restaurants, you can make healthy smoothie recipes right at home for a fraction of the price in just minutes.

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International Childhood Cancer Day ~15th February


iccd-poster-2February 15th is International Childhood Cancer Day; a day on which individuals across the globe create awareness around the fact that cancer does not discriminate by age.

Today we also think about all the children who are fighting cancer and their families and wish them Love, Light & Healing and remember all our Little Fighters who lost the battle and their Loved Ones and wish them Love, Light & Strength.

For far too long, the rights and needs of children/adolescents with cancer have been marginalised and neglected. While deaths due to infectious diseases have been significantly reduced, deaths due to childhood cancer are increasing.

Every day 700 children and adolescents below the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer. Of the 250 000 diagnosed with cancer each year, about 90 000 of them will lose their lives to the disease.

Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 15.

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Can You Afford R10 per Week to Save Lives?


sms-decision-narrowCan you afford R10 per week to save lives? The question is more “can you afford NOT to?”

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust has served Children with Cancer and their Families since 2009. With no government aid and minimal Corporate sponsors, LFCT has been there for thousands of families over the years with support, information, a shoulder to cry on, clothes, food, money for cellphone airtime, transport, accommodation, and much more besides…

Unfortunately we cannot do this without funds, and even though we do receive donations of clothing and food, without which we would not be able to do what we do, no organisation can run without cash –

LFCT uses cash donations (and donations received from the SMS Line):

  • to buy those extra shoes and clothing that have not been donated;
  • to buy the additional personal hygiene products;
  • to buy the food still needed after donations and the perishables that are added to each Family Food Box each month;
  • to buy that airtime or expensive disposable nappies, formula, and whatever else is needed by our Little Fighters and their Families.

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Happy Valentines Day


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Happy Valentine’s Day

To all of our Little Fighters & their Families
Your strength and courage inspires us Daily
Always Remember,  You are Very Special to us.
May your Day be Filled with
Love, Strength & Laughter
From Our Hearts to Yours
~Team LFCT~

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The Most Exciting News for Cancer Research Yet!!!


cancer-research-uk-grand-challenge-20-million-research-grantsIn 2015 Cancer Research UK launched a series of £20m awards for researchers attempting game changing research. These are the most ambitious grants in the world allowing international research teams to take on the biggest problems in cancer research, the Grand Challenges.

Seven Grand Challenges were set in consultation with patients, innovators and the scientific community, and multidisciplinary teams from across the Globe were tasked to submit proposals to tackle them – of the 56 bids received, 9 pioneering teams were shortlisted.

The idea was originally to fund only 1 team, but the independent scientific advisory panel were so impressed by the quality and potential of the shortlisted teams that they recommended an increase in the investment from one award to FOUR!!

Thanks to the generous support of partners and donors it was possible to fund not just one, but four exceptional teams.

As 10 of the world’s leading scientists deliberated on their decision to select the first winners of the Grand Challenge awards after months of hard work and sleepless nights, explains Dr Rick Klausner, chair of the Grand Challenge Advisory Board said:

We were almost pinching ourselves when we read the winning teams’ applications. They were among the most exciting I’ve ever read, and I’ve been reading and reviewing funding applications for almost 40 years!”

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Recipes for High-Calorie Shakes and Drinks


foodiefriday-wp-logoHi Folks, it is Foodie Friday again, and following on yesterday’s post regarding ensuring that your Child with Cancer gets sufficient calories and proteins in their diet to help them fight their cancer and continue to develop and grow naturally at the same time, here are some great drinks recipes.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

Some Children with Cancer also find it difficult to eat or swallow as a result of the cancer treatments, son one of the best methods of getting them in ingest nutrition is via smoothies and other healthy drinks.

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High Calorie/High Protein Diet for Children with Cancer


calorie-protein-pyramidNutrition is an important part of the health of all children, but it is especially important for Children with Cancer, who often have poor appetites as a result of the cancer itself, or due to the side-effects of the cancer treatments.

Both cancer and its treatments may affect a child’s appetite, tolerance to foods, and their body’s ability to use nutrients. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help a child feel better and stay stronger.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

The nutrient needs of Children with Cancer vary from child to child. Your child’s doctor, nurses, and a registered dietitian can help identify nutrition goals and plan ways to help your child meet them.

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Epigenetic Diversity in Childhood Cancer


artistic-rendering-of-a-methylated-dna-moleculeTumours of the elderly, such as breast cancer and colon cancer, accumulate thousands of DNA mutations. These genetic defects contribute to cancer-specific properties including uncontrolled growth, invasion in neighbouring tissues, and evasion from the immune system.

Similar properties are also found in Childhood Cancers, although those tumours carry much fewer genetic defects, making it difficult to explain their clinical heterogeneity.

This is particularly true for Ewing Sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer in children and adolescents.

A single genetic defect – the EWS-ETS fusion – is present in all tumours, initiating cancer development and defining Ewing sarcoma as a disease, but the tumours carry very few DNA mutations that could explain the observed differences in the disease course of Ewing sarcoma patients.

Tackling this question, a team of scientists from Austria, France, Germany and Spain led by Eleni Tomazou from the St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute in Vienna profiled many Ewing Tumours. They found that the disease’s clinical diversity is reflected by widespread epigenetic heterogeneity.

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When Your Child with Cancer is Taking Steroids


child-cancer-and-steroidsSteroids occur naturally within our bodies, but can also be made in the laboratory for medical purposes. They help reduce inflammation and control different functions in our bodies such as the immune system or the way the body uses food. One of their key functions is to reduce inflammation/swelling and ease associated symptoms, such as headaches.

When your child has a tumour in their brain it is not only the tumour itself that causes some of the symptoms they may have, but also the swelling surrounding the tumour. This swelling puts pressure on surrounding tissues making the effects of the tumour wider reaching. This pressure can cause symptoms such as headaches, sickness and seizures (fits).

To help reduce the swelling, Children with Cancer may be prescribed steroids such as Prednisone or Dexamethasone as part of their treatment. As steroids are fast-acting drugs this could mean that some of the effects caused by the tumour reduce quite quickly. This does not mean, however, that the size of tumour itself has been reduced.

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