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Treatment Abandonment is a Major Hurdle to Improving Survival in Childhood Cancer in the Developing World

This is a new study published Mohammed Ramzan, Satya Prakash Yadav and Anupam Sachdeva from the Pediatric Hematology Oncology and BMT Unit, Department of Pediatrics from the Institute of Child Health Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, India investigating abandonment of treatment in their center. A total of 234 out of 802 (29%) children diagnosed with cancer abandoned treatment. Refusal of treatment was noted in almost 50% (120/234) of those who abandoned therapy. The main reasons reported by parents to explain abandonment were : the cost of treatment (60%), the distance of more than 100 km from hospital (22%), belief that cancer is incurable (22%) and girl child (9%). In this study abandonment of treatment occurred mainly during the first month. This is very important since most articles from developing countries describe the outcome of patients who have completed therapy.