Childhood cancer survival in Qatar equals to worldwide rates


Dr. Ayman Saleh

Qatar joins International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD), a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families.

ICCD is being marked today as part of the ongoing campaign 2021-2023 under the theme ‘Better Survival’ is achievable through your hands “Right care at the right time by the right team.’

“In 2022, almost half a million cases of childhood cancer will be diagnosed worldwide. Childhood cancer is curable for the vast majority of children when diagnosis is made early and essential diagnostic, therapeutic and supportive care services are accessible,” Dr. Ayman Saleh, Division Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division at Sidra Medicine told The Peninsula.

Sidra Medicine is the only pediatric hospital in Qatar with specialised teams for the diagnosis, care, and support of children and adolescents with cancer from birth to 18 years of age.

“All medical and surgical and supportive care for children with cancer is provided at Sidra Medicine. Multidisciplinary team of physicians, surgeons, nurses, diagnostic imaging technicians, allied and mental health experts who form an integral part of our patients’ journey of care and healing,” said Dr. Saleh.

According to Dr. Saleh, incidence of childhood cancer in Qatar is comparable to its incidence in the region worldwide, about 8 cases per 100,000 population.

Leukemias, lymphomas, and brain tumors are the most common types of cancer in children. The overall survival is also comparable with about 80% overall survival. Some types are more than 90% curable.

Cancer care for children and adolescents is one of the goals of Qatar National Cancer Program. 

“As the only specialist hospital in Qatar to care for children with cancer from the ages of 0 to 18 years, we have a very important role to play. Our work has a positive impact on the lives of our patients and their families. Our integrated approach to care, not only within the teams here at our hospital, but also with our partners across the network, is what makes cancer care in Qatar truly exceptional,” said Dr. Saleh.

In 2021 on ICCD Sidra Medicine announced about biorepository to develop personalised cancer therapies. And According to Dr. Saleh, Sidra Pediatric Cancer Biorepository is still very active recruiting pediatric patients diagnosed with cancer and storing samples of cancer tumors and conducting research on these samples to better understand the behavior of this cancer for improved future treatment. 

Childhood cancers differ from adult cancers. Dr. Saleh said that there are many differences between the types of cancers seen as well as the survival of children and adults. For example; leukemias, lymphomas, and brain tumors are the most common types of cancer in children. On the other hand, breast, lungs, and colon cancer are the most common in the adult population, said Dr. Saleh.

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