Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Many people including children who seek cancer care hit barriers at every turn. This year’s World Cancer Day’s theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is all about uniting our voices and taking action. The types of cancers that occur most often in children are different from those seen in adults. Other types of cancers are rare in children, but they do happen sometimes. In very rare cases, children may even develop cancers that are much more common in adults.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) each year, an estimated 400 000 children and adolescents of 0-19 years old develop cancer. The most common types of childhood cancers include leukemias, brain cancers, lymphomas and solid tumours, such as neuroblastoma and Wilms tumours. In high-income countries, where comprehensive services are generally accessible, more than 80% of children with cancer are cured. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), less than 30% are cured.
Because it is generally not possible to prevent cancer in children, the most effective strategy to reduce the burden of cancer in children and improve outcomes is to focus on a prompt, correct diagnosis followed by effective, evidence-based therapy with tailored supportive care. Paediatric palliative care is about improving the quality of life of infants, children and young people diagnosed with a life-limiting condition and supporting those who care for them.
The International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) research estimates 21 million children globally need palliative care. Overall, among the over 21 million with conditions that will benefit annually from a palliative care approach, more than 8 million need specialised care. ICPCN continues to work together with members and partners across the world to achieve the best quality of life and care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, their families and carers worldwide, by raising awareness of children’s palliative care, lobbying for the global development of children’s palliative care services, and sharing expertise, skills and knowledge.
The International Society of Nurses Cancer Care (ISNCC) Board of Directors are pleased to mark World Cancer Day by releasing a video series and forum on the critical role of nursing leadership in closing the cancer care gap. These videos explore the role of nurse leaders and examine strategies to accelerate nursing leadership developing. Presentations are delivered by outstanding nursing leaders in cancer control who share examples of how nursing leadership is applied at the system and organizational levels to close the cancer care gap.
This session includes an interview with Prof. Julia Downing, Chair of ISNCC’s Policy and Advocacy Committee. Prof. Julia Downing is the Chief Executive of ICPCN. Please find the ISNCC resources here.