Saturday, February 4 was World Cancer Day, a day for the world to remember those diagnosed with the disease and to learn more about how to prevent, detect or treat it. SickKids is working hard to fight cancer.
SickKids patient Mutasim knows about that fight all too well. He was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a tumour in his bladder. After two months of treatment, Mutasim had surgery to remove his bladder and had an artificial bladder inserted. The surgery was followed by eight more months of chemotherapy. In between treatments, his days were spent with a tutor, making arts and crafts with Child Life specialists at the Hospital and playing in the Starlight Lounge, a special play area at SickKids for oncology patients. Since his most recent surgery in September 2011, hospital visits have become fewer and farther between and Mutasim started school full time and loves being back in the company of his classmates.
On average, SickKids sees a new cancer patient every day. Thanks in part to some incredible donors, our researchers and clinicians have made some incredible strides in the fight against cancer. In 2011, SickKids researchers developed a new approach for detecting cancer early in patients at high risk for the disease. This ‘Toronto protocol’ led to a 100 per cent survival rate among the patients and is now being used by doctors around the world. SickKids researchers also identified two distinct subgroups in common childhood brain cancer which will help develop more personalized treatments.