Pediatric Cancer at BC Children’s Hospital

October 15, 2009 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Paige is certainly not alone in her struggles with cancer.  Every year, more than 800 young people just like Paige receive active treatment for cancer at BC Children’s Hospital, and there are another 9,000 visits to our Oncology Outpatient clinic for follow-up care. And that’s not all; sadly there are 140 newly diagnosed cases of childhood cancer in the province each year.  Ok, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that the quality of life for children with cancer is steadily improving and survival rates are climbing. Fifteen years ago 70% of children with cancer died while today, thanks to advancements in diagnoses, treatments and research, 80% of them survive.  Because childhood cancers differ from adult cancers, they typically respond well to treatment and children with cancer have a better chance today of living a longer life than ever before.

As the province’s only facility with the comprehensive, multidisciplinary team required to provide diagnosis and treatment for kids with cancer, BC Children’s is working on developing targeted and less toxic therapies for children, which is also contributing to the improved survival rates.  

These advancements in treatments for kids are also related to participation in clinical trials. Our program has over 500 children currently registered in clinical trials with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). Clinical researchers at the Hospital work together with investigators at the Childhood Cancer Research Program to carry out cutting-edge research that will identify new and improved treatments for childhood cancers. In fact, some researchers believe that the cure for all cancers will be discovered through the study of childhood cancer.

There is reason for hope. Krista, a 19-year-old cancer patient thinks so too, in her poem called Dreams, she writes:

I look into the sky and what do I see?
A castle, a rainbow, and dreams for me,
An end to this battle which I must fight,
To rid my feelings of depression and fright.
An end to cancer is not far away,
It will be here soon… Someday.

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Entry filed under: At the Hospital, Paige. Tags: , , , .

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