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Acerca de

In the months leading up to Sophie's cancer diagnosis we contacted the GP surgery numerous times as well as attended a doctor's examination. Sophie had some of the red flags of childhood cancer – persistent nausea, persistent stomach pains and unexplained bleeding. She had a 12cm tumour which could be felt at the point she was diagnosed.

 

As parents we weren't aware of the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer, believing it was rare and therefore, unlikely to ever happen. We now know that 1 in 320 children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20. Each childhood cancer is rare (there is over 88 different sub-types) but collectively childhood cancer is not rare!

 

Childhood cancer is the NUMBER ONE killer of children under the age of 15 yet, alarmingly there are no training courses in paediatric cancer specifically for health professionals. GP's are provided some during their training programme but once qualified, there are no UK official courses for health professionals. The recent statistics show an average GP practice in the UK would expect to see a case of cancer in a child or young person every 1.8 years. We are all aware the sooner cancer is detected the better the outcomes. We believe that by improving training into paediatric cancer signs and symptoms along with awareness it isn’t rare, will increase the chances of health professionals detecting it sooner.

 

We would also like to promote a public awareness campaign for parents to know the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer. For further information on early detection, head to Childhood Cancer & Leukaemia Group's Spot Child Cancer page.

 

Sophie's story is not unique - we have heard of so many stories of parents going back and forward to their GPs, A&E and each time told their child had other reasons they could be poorly. This must change - especially when 53% of children are diagnosed through A&E (in comparison 22% of adults are diagnosed in A&E). 

 

My advice to any parent is – always listen to your gut instincts.

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