UICC is proud to have contributed to the emergence of a new regional childhood cancer network in Latin America and the Caribbean. The PAHO led Childhood Cancer Working Group (PAHO-CCWG) had its inaugural meeting in Washington DC on February 3rd, aligned with World Cancer Day. The creation of a dedicated regional expert group on childhood cancer was one of the main recommendations of a policy dialogue organized by UICC in Geneva in June 2015 at the Brocher Foundation in Hermance, Switzerland. The policy dialogue identified a pan regional need to address health system challenges to improve outcomes for children with cancer and to develop an advocacy agenda for countries at different levels of health system capacity across Latin America and the Caribbean. As an initial activity, a mapping of policy, programmes and services related to childhood cancer in Latin America was started by UICC, Childhood Cancer International and the Sick Children’s hospital in Toronto. This mapping activity is now being undertaken in collaboration with the new WHO/PAHO regional network which had its first meeting in Washington DC in early February 2017.
On this ICCD, UICC would also like to announce the development of a webinar series on the Signs and Symptoms campaign. Developed in collaboration with Childhood Cancer International and the International Society of Paediatric Oncology, campaign materials include posters and pocket cards with key warning signs of childhood cancer and a set of expert films that present some case studies and outline key questions and examination steps. The materials have been translated into more than 40 languages and adapted in health facilities and community settings around the world. As part of the launch of the webinar series, UICC would like to highlight the work of one of its members, Bless a Child Foundation, in Uganda, that has developed an inspirational and innovative educational programme based on the campaign to increase understanding of the symptoms of cancer among children and ways to prevent cancer in adulthood. Using clowns, puppets and games, Bless a Child Foundation has developed a fun and informative way (see below) to communicate key messages about cancer with children and their care givers.
Latest data on incidence of childhood cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is releasing the latest data on the incidence of childhood cancer across the world to mark International Childhood Cancer Day. The results, which are part of the third volume of the International Incidence of Childhood Cancer (IICC) project, are based on collaboration of more than 300 high-quality registries in 82 countries, departments, and territories on five continents. Tabulated data on more than 770 000 neoplasms diagnosed in patients younger than 20 years are now accessible online, with statistics presented for the diagnostic groups relevant to childhood cancer.
This UICC work will feed into The Lancet Oncology Commission on Sustainable Paediatric Cancer Care, due to report in 2018.
We also take this opportunity to highlight the pending 2017 publication of volume 3 of the International Incidence of Childhood Cancer.