Tim Brinton

Comment venir à bout du cancer de l'enfant ?

PHILADELPHIE – Pour un parent, il n'est peut-être pas de plus grande peur que la perspective de perdre un enfant dans une maladie ou un accident. Et c'est le cancer de l'enfant qui a le plus grand potentiel de propulser cette peur latente en une réalité inimaginable. En tant que pédiatre oncologue, après avoir soigné des enfants atteints de cancer et leurs familles pendant plus de 25 années, je sais que seul un parent confronté à un tel diagnostic peut vraiment comprendre à quel point cette crainte est profonde, car elle touche au cœur de de notre identité de parents.

Je sais aussi que nous traitons plus d'enfants plus efficacement et que nous pouvons faire encore beaucoup mieux.

Pour un enfant né dans les années 1960, le diagnostic de la forme la plus courante de cancer de l'enfant, la leucémie lymphoblastique aiguë (LLA), signifiait une mort presque certaine avec un taux de survie inférieur à 10%. Un enfant avec le même diagnostic a aujourd'hui une chance de guérison supérieure à 80%. En regardant les taux de survie à cinq ans pour les enfants atteints de LLA des années 1970 jusquaux années 1990, on constate une amélioration quasi linéaire des taux de guérison.

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