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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-33

Childhood cancer in developing society: A roadmap of health care

1 Department of Pediatrics, Govt. TD Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Hematology Oncology Division, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, GMC, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
P M Ramesh
Department of Pediatrics, Govt. TD Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5851.81887

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Background: We assessed referral patterns of children with hematological malignancies (HM) in North India. Materials and Methods: The parents/guardians were interviewed at presentation, in the period between October 2001 and November 2002. Patient delay (symptom-contact), health system delay (contact-diagnosis), total delay (symptom-diagnosis), and number of contacts were compared between high- and standard-risk disease group. Results: Of the 79 children (55 boys; 69.6%) with HM, 47 (59.5%) had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Forty-four children had high-risk disease. The patient, system and total delay were a median of 2 days (with Interquartile range IQR of 1−6), 37 days (IQR 13−55), and 38 days (IQR 15−60) respectively. Majority of patients (64/79; 81%) went to private sector (non governmental health care providers) for health care. Number of contacts, which was the most significant, correlate with system delay. Conclusions: Sensitizing the private sector practitioners about cancer in symptomatic children (pallor, bleeding, fever) may be effective.

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