Despite a National Service Framework for children, which sets standards, there are no targets, and children continue to be a low priority for the NHS.
According to Alan Craft (Institute of Child Health, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) and Kathy Pritchard-Jones (Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, UK), routine surveillance and the primary care of children need to be rigorously assessed, while politicians need to take the health of children seriously and make an appropriate level of investment, to ensure that the UK improves by comparison with the best-performing countries in Europe.
The authors highlight that in Germany, trials on Wilm’s tumour—a common solid tumour of childhood— showed that between 1994 and 2001, 27.4% of patients had a cancer that was first identified during a visit to a health professional for an unrelated problem or by routine surveillance. In comparison, in the UK, just 11% of patients presenting to the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, and 4% of patients referred to the Newcastle Hospital or the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle were identified. In Germany, early diagnosis by routine or incidental examination was linked to increased survival.
The authors suggest a number of possible reasons for the considerable variation in childhood cancer survival in the UK. They believe that children in the UK have been receiving a different treatment protocol than their European counterparts possibly involving suboptimum first-line treatment or less-intensive salvage treatment at relapse, because until recently there was no European-wide standard clinical protocol. Furthermore, routine health-surveillance systems and opportunities for diagnosis for children differ considerably across Europe. In Germany, most children have their own primary-care paediatrician who undertakes regular health checks, whereas in the UK, according to the authors, the Health for all Children guidelines are not as thorough, with few routine examinations being recommended.
The authors conclude, “Suboptimum survival for childhood cancer is just one example of the worse state of children’s health care in the UK compared with many other countries. The perinatal mortality rate puts the UK in 15th position in Europe and there is clear evidence that children with diabetes are [also] not receiving optimum care”.
Tony Kirby | alfa
Live probiotics can re-balance the gut microbiome and modify immune system response
20.11.2018 | Symprove
Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy