Tim Brinton

كيف نتغلب على سرطان الأطفال

فيلادلفيا ــ في نظر أي أب أو أم، فقد لا يكون هناك مصدر أعظم للخوف من احتمال فقدان ابن أو ابنة بسبب مرض أو حادث. وسرطان الأطفال قادر على تحويل المخاوف البعيدة إلى واقع لا يمكن تصوره. وبوصفي اختصاصي في أورام الأطفال، ومن واقع رعايتي بأطفال مصابين بالسرطان وأسرهم لأكثر من خمسة وعشرين عاما، فأنا أعلم أن الوالد الذي واجه مثل هذا التشخيص هو وحده الذي يدرك عمق هذا الخوف، لأنه يمس جوهر ما نحن عليه كآباء.

وأنا أعلم أيضاً أننا نعالج الآن عدداً من الأطفال أكبر من أي وقت مضى ــ وأننا قادرون على القيام بما هو أفضل كثيرا.

بالنسبة لطفل ولد في ستينيات القرن العشرين، فإن تشخيص أكثر أشكال سرطان الأطفال شيوعا، أو سرطان الدم الليمفاوي الحاد، كان يعني على نحو يكاد يكون مؤكداً الوفاة، حيث كان معدل النجاة من هذا المرض أقل من 10%. أما الطفل بنفس التشخيص اليوم فإن فرص علاجه بنجاح أكثر من 80%. وبالنظر إلى معدلات نجاة الأطفال المصابين بسرطان الدم الليمفاوي الحاد في سن الخامسة من سبعينيات إلى تسعينيات القرن العشرين، فسوف نرى تحسناً خطياً تقريباً في معدلات الشفاء.

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