Leukemia is highly treatable, with some 85% of children suffering from the blood cancer being responsive to treatment, claims Dr. Kamuran Karaman, a pediatric oncologist at Yüzüncü Yıl University in the Eastern Turkish city of Van.
Talking to Anadolu Agency, the expert stated that a high rate of treatment mostly depends on improved patient care, better laboratory facilities, and further clarification of high-risk groups.
Leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells, can occur in any age group, but is most common in children aged 2 to 5. Karaman "With a well-conducted classification of children at high-risk, a high number of patients will be able to recover with chemotherapy alone, without resort to system cell transplantation."
Karaman stressed that children with leukemia should continue going to school in order to maintain their motivation. "Teachers assigned by the National Education Ministry come regularly to the hematology service to give lessons to our children. This way, our kids feel better having not lagged behind in terms of education, and this greatly helps their treatment," he said.
Even though many see leukemia as a deadly illness, Karaman underlined that: "Leukemia is a non-infectious and non-genetically inherited disease that can be cured." Karaman said support from patients' families plays an important role in the treatment process.
"In the experience of our patients' families, we see that they need time to understand exactly what the disease is. Two-and-a-half years or so of treatment for the family can be very difficult to overcome, requires patience, and sometimes can be a disruptive process."
Karaman also urged families to let their children spend more time outside playing in nature and parks and less time playing online games and being exposed to electronic devices.