International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is observed annually on 15 February to create awareness and extend support to children and adolescents with cancer. It is estimated that cancer is diagnosed in over 400,000 children and adolescents under the age of 20 every year.
What is ICCD?
ICCD is a global collaborative initiative to spread hope and foster a better understanding of the issues that children and adolescents with cancer experience. The day highlights the need for more equitable access to treatment for children suffering with cancer.
International Childhood Cancer Day 2022 theme:
The ICCD theme for 2022 is ‘Better Survival’ is achievable #throughyourhands.
Who is behind ICCD?
International Childhood Cancer Day, a global event, was founded in 2002 by collaborative efforts of Childhood Cancer International (a global network of 176 parent organisations), cancer societies and childhood cancer support groups in more than 93 countries.
The International Childhood Cancer Day has been founded based on Childhood Cancer International's (CCI) core concept that every child and adolescent suffering with cancer, regardless of country of origin, social class, financial condition, or race, deserves the best possible medical and psychosocial treatment.
It's also based on the idea that childhood cancer deaths may be avoided with three basic things - quick and accurate diagnosis, access to high-quality necessary drugs and effective treatment.
What are the types of cancer that develop in children?
Types of cancer that most commonly affect children are different from cancers that affect adults. As per the American Cancer Society, the following are the common cancers in children:
- Wilms tumor
- Lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
- Bone cancer (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)
- Brain and spinal cord tumours
What is WHO’s global initiative for childhood cancer?
Global initiative for childhood cancer was launched in 2018 by the World Health Organization (WHO) with a goal of increasing the survival rate of children with cancer to at least 60 percent by 2030 while reducing their suffering.
Impact of COVID-19
Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted a number of critical health services around the world, including early detection of cancer services. Routine cancer screenings and other essential checkups of children with cancer have also been affected due to the pandemic.
Lakhs of children are diagnosed with cancer each year. While 80 percent of them survive in high-income countries, the survival rate is only 20 percent in low and middle income countries.