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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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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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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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Will Trump Sign the Childhood Cancer STAR ACT?


staract1-300x122In an effort to help thousands of children who undergo cancer treatment each year, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research) Act.  This bipartisan legislation will advance paediatric cancer research and child-focused cancer treatments, while also improving childhood cancer surveillance, and providing resources for survivors and those impacted by childhood cancer.

Too many young people’s lives have been cut short by cancer.  These kids and their families who’ve battled this disease inspire us to take action.  The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will help young cancer patients and their families get access to potentially life-saving treatments, support survivors, and move us another step closer toward our goal of ending pediatric cancer,” said Senator Reed.

This bipartisan legislation will continue the advances in research, prevention and care for our loved ones and families impacted by childhood cancer,” said Senator Capito. “The Childhood Cancer STAR Act gives parents and patients access to the information they need to make vital decisions about treatment and care post-treatment. This legislation will also give those who understand the unique needs of childhood cancer patients a seat at the table when decisions about cancer care are taking place.”

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Cardamom Recipes for Children with Cancer


foodiefriday-wp-logoHey there Fans – it is Foodie Friday again so, following on our post about the health and cancer-fighting benefits of cardomom yesterday, here are some great cardomom recipes that both you and your Child with Cancer are sure to thoroughly enjoy!

Please remember that if there are any specific recipes that you would like for your Child with Cancer (something with their favourite foods) that you think will help them to eat when they are feeling poorly from their cancer treatment, drop us a line on our Contact Us page and we will be happy to research some easy recipes for you.

The same goes for any other information that you would like about Childhood Cancer ~ this blog is for YOU so we always try to post information that you need and/or want.

Have fun trying out the following recipes and let us know what they are like and whether your child enjoyed them.

 

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Cancer Benefits of Cardamom


health-benefits-of-cardamomCardamom is a peppery, citrusy spice that is native to the evergreen forests of India and is commonly used in Indian cuisine, but it has also made its way into Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression.

According to various studies, cardamom also contains cancer-fighting compounds with the potential to kill cancer cells as well as stunt new cancer cell growth. In India, Cardamom was known as the “Queen of spices” to black pepper’s title as the “King of spices”. Also in India, during the 11th century, it was listed as one of the ingredients in the “Five fragrance betel chew” in the Book of Splendour.

Historically, spices have shaped many events throughout the world. Many voyagers, including the legendary Christopher Columbus, explored the seas in search of treasured spices. These valued commodities contribute not only flavours but also serve as colorants and preservatives in a wide variety of cultures.

In Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle) and Traditional Chinese Medicine, cardamom was believed to be a remedy for teeth and gum infections, throat problems, congestion of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of the eyelids, gastrointestinal disorders, disintegrating kidney, and gall bladder stones, and was also used as an antidote for poisons and venoms.

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Helping Your Child with Cancer Cope


cancer-childA cancer diagnosis brings with it not only pain and treatments, but a complete lifestyle change – there are all the appointments, tests, medications, infusions, scans, special diets, and so on to deal with; time in and out of hospital; fatigue, lethargy, boredom and a change in eating habits…

For children things are worse, because they can often not go to school while under treatment due to their impaired immune systems and possibilities of infection; often they can also not even see their friends and need to keep themselves entertained for days, weeks and even months on end. I mean, adult company is OK, but when you are a child you need to play and need other children around…

The sudden move from health to illness and the unwelcome tests and procedures needed to get a diagnosis can be very frightening for a child, and hospital stays can be a scary and overwhelming experience.

It’s very scary for a child to be told their body is not working right, and that they have cancer and it is completely normal for a child or teen to be afraid of new and often painful experiences.

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A Little Reminder of What We Do


goldribbonIt being the beginning of another year, we thought that we would just remind everyone exactly what it is that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust actually does apart from posting on this blog and on our Facebook Page….

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust (LFCT) is a South African Non-Profit Organisation that offers various types of support to Children with Cancer and their Families throughout South Africa. We are the VOICE of Childhood Cancer Awareness and the HANDS of Childhood Cancer Support!

LFCT is committed to providing support in an holistic manner, treating each Child with Cancer and his/her Family as individuals, as we understand and respect the uniqueness of each situation. It is also our mission to preserve the dignity and pride of each individual.

We undertake to promote and advocate National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase the amount of diagnosed Childhood Cancer cases in South Africa. Childhood Cancer Awareness will translate into an increase in earlier diagnosis, which will result in a higher survival rate for Children with Cancer in South Africa.

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