ISLAMABAD:Child specialist believed that breastfeed can help to reduce the cancer risk in children, and that maternal exposure to certain toxic fumes from chemical-based paints can increase risk.
A renowned child specialist Dr Iqbal Memon in an interview with PTV news on 'world Childhood cancer day' said babies breast-fed for at least six months appear to have a 19 percent lower risk of childhood leukemia compared to children who were never breast-fed or were breast-fed for fewer months.
"Breast-feeding is a highly accessible and low-cost preventive public health measure that has been found in numerous studies to be associated not only with lower risk for childhood leukemia but also with lower risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), gastrointestinal infection, ear infection, type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life," he added.
"Breast milk is a total food, intended by nature to exclusively supply all of the infant's nutritional needs for the first few months of life. Breast milk is a live substance, containing antibodies manufactured by the mother and other unique qualities that promote a healthy flora in the intestines of the infant and influence the development of the child's immune system," dr said.
"Early diagnosis and timely treatment can help and our aim is to increase the survival rate to 95%", he advised.
Frequent bouts of fever, anaemia, lumps on their body are the common symptoms,said, adding , environmental causes such as air pollution, pesticides and solvents can also played a big role in childhood cancer .
If parents are smoking or exposed to smoke, this will also increase risk, he mentioned.
Childhood cancer is rare, so the symptoms are similar to many other childhood diseases," Dr said.
"Unfortunately, there are so many different types of cancer found in children, so there is a vast spectrum of symptoms that can be mistaken for other conditions," Dr Iqbal said.
"If a child is not eating, has fever or constant headaches, is sweating at night or losing weight, it may not be cancer, but it should be checked, he highlighted".
"We wanted the campaign to focus on children, so parents and doctors can look deeper at their symptoms when they arise.Children are very tough and resilient, they deal with cancer better than adults sometimes", he said.
Specialist said each year, more than 150,000 children are diagnosed with cancer that touches all regions of the world and impacts countless families and communities.APP/AFP