Croatia Above European Average for Childhood Cancer 5-Year Survival

Katarina Anđelković

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As 24Sata / HINA writes, according to the latest data from the Cancer Registry of the Republic of Croatia, in 2020, 159 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed with malignant diseases in Croatia, out of which 67 were female.

In the past ten years, an average of 157 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed, and 27 died of malignant diseases.

At the national level in Croatia, out of a total of 159 children with a newly diagnosed malignant disease in 2020, 49 were under the age of 4, 27 were between the ages of 5 and 9, 34 were between the ages of 10 and 14 and 49 between the ages of 15 and 15. up to 19 years.

The most common diagnoses of malignant diseases in children were leukemia, lymphomas and malignant brain and spinal cord tumors.

In treating malignant diseases, it is difficult to define a cure, but it is common to take five-year survival as a measure of cure. Data from the extensive global observational study CONCORD-3 published in the Lancet journal show that five-year survival from malignant diseases in children in Croatia is above the European average. It is 95 percent for childhood lymphomas, 85 percent for acute lymphatic leukemia, and 73 percent for brain tumors.

Malignant diseases in childhood have significant social and medical consequences. The diagnosis and the changes in everyday life due to the new situation represent a significant stressor for the child and their family. To overcome the daily difficulties they face in caring for their child, it is necessary for parents to have help: equal access to care and modern treatment procedures and, just as importantly, families need psychological support in a timely manner, the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) points out.

They also emphasize that support is needed even after the end of therapy because patients and their families can face the physical and psychological consequences long after a diagnosis of a malignant disease and the often very intensive treatment.

International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated on February 15 with the aim of raising awareness about malignant diseases in children and providing support to ill children and adolescents, as well as their families and survivors.

Based on the decision of the Croatian Parliament, since 2006, February 15 has been celebrated in Croatia as National Childhood Cancer Day.

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