Experts at a workshop stressed the need for counselling and support for children affected by cancer

About 20 to 30 per cent of cancer patients are children affected by blood cancer, a curable condition if detected early, Vijaya Bharathi Rangarajan, Founder and Director, CAN-STOP, said.

“People lack awareness about childhood cancers. They do not know that it is completely curable if detected early. Our objective is to spread awareness about childhood cancers and help them recover so that they can lead a happy life,” she added. Dr. Rangarajan was speaking at a workshop — ‘CAN-SWAP (Cancer Survivors Workshop for Adolescent Paediatrics) held to observe International Childhood Cancer Day.

The workshop was organised for cancer conquerors between the ages of 13 and 19, who had battled cancer and undergone psychological trauma due to treatment and other pressures.

Brinda Sitaram, Founder and Director, COPER (Center of Psycho- Oncology for Education and Research) spoke on various aspects of psycho-oncology. She said, “Children and pre-teens undergo plenty of pressure, when they are in therapy. They need psychological guidance and support to make them understand that they are not alienated, and can lead a normal life like their friends.”

The one-day workshop also had sessions on career guidance and counselling, a life skills workshop and meditation for children’s well-being.

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