Pediatric cancers are treatable most of the time. However, 70 percent of children in India who get cancer, succumb to the disease.
This is because:
- India being the second most populous country in the world has a greater burden of pediatric cancer in comparison to the global pediatric cancer burden.
- Despite significant progress in clinical care at tertiary level and increase in the number of pediatric oncologists, pediatricians at the ground level are ill equipped to detect and diagnose the disease until it has reached a significantly advanced stage, thereby increasing the rate of mortality.
- Detection and diagnosis of pediatric cancer till it has reached an advanced stage also imposes a huge burden on tertiary care and also brings down the success rates.
- Even when pediatric cancer is diagnosed early, most patients don’t have access to nearby tertiary care centres or pediatric oncologists. This imposes a huge emotional and monetary costs on the family by forcing them to move to tier 3 cities which have more advanced centers who can cater to the needs of these children.
The Catch Pediatric Cancer (CPC) Program is a joint initiative of the CIAP, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) with its National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) and the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Chapter of IAP, to create a national solution for pediatric cancer and help save more lives than we currently do.
The CPC program is a nationally available program for the early detection and diagnosis of cancer in children. The CPC program is an attempt by IAP to reach out to its 32000 pediatricians across the country and bring them into a common net so that any child suspected of having malignancy gets diagnosed at the right time.
The CPC program aims to train and empower pediatricians across the country to suspect and diagnose pediatric cancers early. It gives every pediatrician access to trained pediatric oncologists to guide and to confirm the diagnosis. It also makes available an array of end-to-end cancer diagnostic capabilities for the pediatrician. This helps the pediatrician to do the initial screening evaluation and first aid before referring the child to a trained and dedicated pediatric oncologist.
The CPC program will use IITM’s NCTB to deliver cancer diagnosis to patients of IAP pediatricians. The NCTB is a national facility financed by Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and others to facilitate cancer research discoveries that will lead to improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatments. The CPC Program can boost cancer research in India by enriching the NCTB.
The CPC program includes:
- New National Red Flag guidelines published by IAP for early detection of pediatric cancer.
- Training on Red Flag Guidelines to the pediatricians by IAP.
- Tele-access to pediatric oncologists who are mapped to pediatric clinics by IAP
- End to end cancer diagnostic capabilities fulfilled by NCTB and other locally available laboratories.
- Children diagnosed with pediatric cancer are referred to the pediatric oncologist.
Disclaimer: The CPC services are provided by independent service providers. IAP is not the service provider of CPC & is therefore not liable for any advice or any action of such service provider/s.