Tim Brinton

Die Bekämpfung von Krebs im Kindesalter

PHILADELPHIA – Eltern haben wohl vor nichts mehr Angst, als ein Kind durch Unfall oder Krankheit zu verlieren. Und Krebs im Kindesalter hat das größte Potenzial, wenn es darum geht, dass aus einer vagen Angst plötzlich unvorstellbare Realität wird. Als pädiatrischer Onkologe mit über 25 Jahren Erfahrung in der Betreuung von krebskranken Kindern und deren Eltern weiß ich, dass nur Eltern, die mit einer derartigen Diagnose konfrontiert sind, die Tiefe dieser Angst wirklich verstehen, da sie das Wesen des Elternseins in seinem Innersten berührt.

Ich weiß auch, dass wir die Kinder heute wirksamer als je zuvor behandeln – und dass trotzdem noch immer einiges Verbesserungspotenzial besteht.

Für ein in den 1960er Jahren geborenes Kind war die Diagnose mit der häufigsten Krebsform im Kindesalter, der akuten lymphatischen Leukämie (ALL), beinahe ein Todesurteil, da die Überlebensrate bei weniger als 10 Prozent lag.  Heute hat ein Kind mit der gleichen Diagnose eine Heilungschance von über 80 Prozent. Betrachtet man die 5-Jahres-Überlebensrate bei Kindern mit ALL im Zeitraum von den 1970er bis in die 1990er Jahre, ist ein fast linearer Anstieg der Heilungsraten festzustellen.

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