Cyprus needs new child oncology centre

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There is a need for a new paediatric oncology centre in Cyprus, Health Minister Popi Kanari said about the treatment of cancer in children and adolescents.

She argued that extensions and renovations are not enough, and some thoughts will be evaluated to see how the government can move towards what she believes should be done.

Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Christina Giannaki said if a new paediatric oncology centre is to be realised, scientists must be approached so that specialised treatments performed abroad can be offered in Cyprus.

President of the ELPIDA Foundation for Children with Cancer and Leukaemia and Professor of Medicine at the University of Nicosia, Loizos Loizou, said there are 42 new cancer cases in children and adolescents per year in Cyprus.

They constitute 1.5% of all cancers and are slightly more common in boys than in girls, with a ratio of 1 to 2.

Dr Loizou said that in Cyprus, the distribution per case is different from other countries, and this is a subject of research, with acute leukaemia being the most common form.

Regarding survival, Loizou said that Cyprus’ rates are good, adding that 4 in every 5 children survive.

He added that acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cases have an 86% survival rate, lymphomas 95%, thyroid cancer and retinoblastoma 100%, neuroblastomas 60% and brain tumours 50%.

The net proceeds from the painting exhibition by the Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos were donated to children and adolescents with cancer or leukaemia.