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Press release: World Cancer Leader`s Summit

Global childhood cancer organizations call on leaders attending World Cancer Summit in Dublin to “Act Now!”

Geneva | 18 November 2011– The International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) and the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organizations (ICCCPO) are highlighting the urgent need to address the fight against cancers of children and young adults at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit which opened in Dublin today. The Summit brings together global decision makers committed to the fight against cancer and in making it a top priority on the global health and development agenda. SIOP and ICCCPO members represent the various sectors in the coordinated response to childhood and adolescent cancer including physicians, childhood cancer parent organizations, advocates, academia, scientific and lay communities from almost 100 countries that together account for 84% of the global population.

SIOP and ICCCPO are demanding that global cancer community integrate paediatric oncology in key discussions at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Dublin. Dr. Gabriele Calaminus, SIOP president notes: “we would like to ensure that the message of hope for children with cancer and their families is brought to the attention of leaders, influential advocates and key policy makers present at this important meeting. We are seeking political commitment and swift action from them to address the challenges and struggles that children with cancer and their families are confronted with each and every day.” Calaminus adds, “The time to act is now! Complacency will only exacerbate the situation, especially in low- and middleincome countries where the large majority of children with cancer live and where access to appropriate treatment, care and support remains bleak.”

“I call upon those attending the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit to speak out with a stronger voice for the so many children and adolescents suffering from and needlessly dying of childhood cancers when the knowledge to save them exists. Children with cancer worldwide deserve a stronger focus on their needs than they currently are receiving, especially in resource-poor countries”, states Kenneth Dollman, a father from South Africa of a survivor of childhood cancer and the chairperson of ICCCPO. Dollman adds, “Too often in resource-poor countries mothers of children with cancer sit without hope beside the bed of their child waiting for the inevitable to happen.”

Each year 175,000 children worldwide are newly diagnosed with cancer, of which an estimated 90,000 will die from the disease. At the end of today, some 250 children around the world will lose their lives to cancer. These numbers are staggering given the fact that 70% of all childhood cancers are curable. Eighty percent (80%) of the children who survive cancer live in resource-rich settings, where cancer is the second leading cause of death among children. In resource-challenged countries, where knowledge about childhood cancer still lags significantly behind their resource-rich counterparts, childhood cancer is often detected too late, so early diagnosis is a major demand in order to prevent high stage disease and to increase the chance for cure. Effective treatment is often compounded by very limited access to appropriate treatment and care, resulting in approximately eighty percent (80%) of children dying of cancer. This is not acceptable, we need global awareness of these issues and common action to increase the chances of survival for children with cancer worldwide.

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About the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP)
Established in 1969, the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP),  with over 1500 members, is the leading global organization concerned with the issues of children and young  people who  have cancer.  The society envisions that “no child should die of cancer.”  To realize this vision, SIOP’s mission are to: (1) ensure that each child and young adult with cancer has access to state-of-the-art treatment and care; (2) ensure that all involved in childhood cancer worldwide, have access to the latest progress through meetings, networking, and continuing professional development; (3) support those caring for children and young adults with cancer to provide the best curative and palliative therapies; and, (4) advocate for appropriate long-term follow-up for children and young adults after treatment for cancer. Dr. Gabrielle Calaminus is the president of SIOP.  SIOP is governed by a board of directors and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.   www.siop.nl

About the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organizations (ICCCPO)
ICCCPO is the largest organization of its kind representing families of children with cancer. ICCCPO wants to see a world where the issues faced by children with cancer and their families, both in the short and long-term, are understood by families, healthcare professionals  and the wider community to ensure that children receive the best possible care wherever they are in the world at the time of diagnosis and beyond.  ICCCPO’s mission is to share information and experiences in order to improve access to the best possible treatment & care for children with cancer everywhere in the world. www.icccpo.org

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SIOP Media Contact
JJ Divino, MPH
Communications and External Relations
International Society of Paediatric Oncology
Geneva, Switzerland
tel: 0041 22 906 9123
email: jdivino@kenes.com

ICCCPO Media Contact
Marianne Naafs-Wilstra
c/o VOKK

Schouwstede 2B, 3431 JB Nieuwegen
NETHERLANDS
Tel: +31 30 242 2944
email: icccpo-secretariat@vokk.nl

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