Tim Brinton

Cómo vencer al cáncer infantil

FILADELFIA – Para un padre o una madre quizás no exista mayor temor que la perspectiva de perder a un hijo debido a una enfermedad o un accidente. Y es el cáncer infantil la enfermedad que tiene el mayor potencial para catapultar dicho remoto temor y convertirlo en una realidad inimaginable. Como oncólogo pediatra, quien ha atendido a niños con cáncer y a sus familias por más de 25 años, sé que sólo un padre o una madre que ha enfrentado tal diagnóstico entiende verdaderamente la profundidad de este temor, ya que afecta el núcleo de quienes somos como padres.

También sé que, ahora más que nunca antes, estamos administrando tratamiento a mayor cantidad de niños de manera más eficaz – y que aún podemos hacerlo mucho mejor.

Para un niño nacido en la década de los años 1960, el diagnóstico de la forma más común de cáncer infantil, la leucemia linfoblástica aguda (LLA), significaba una muerte casi segura, con una tasa de supervivencia inferior al 10%. Un niño con el mismo diagnóstico hoy en día tiene una probabilidad de curación del 80%. Al analizar las tasas de cinco años de supervivencia para los niños con LLA desde la década de 1970 hasta la década de 1990, se observa una mejora casi lineal en las tasas de curación.

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