Survival rate of approximately 70% when treatment is multidisciplinary and includes the right nutrition at the right time
Cuddles Foundation recently published the first organized assessment conducted in India on the impact of good nutrition on children with cancer, entitled “Childhood Cancer in India”.
One of the known primary challenges to the lower cure rate has been that approximately 40% of pediatric cancer patients in India are malnourished at the time of diagnosis. In India, about 50,000 children between the ages of 0 and 19 are diagnosed with cancer every year. Specifically, according to research, in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs) such as India, 80% of children abandon treatment due to financial constraints, alternative medicine, or the false belief that cancer is incurable.
Building on the findings, Purnota Dutta Bahl, Founder, CEO & Trustee, Cuddles Foundation said: “The net 5-year survival rate for childhood cancer in India is approximately 30-40%. Research shows that survival rates can be as high as 70% or more if childhood cancer treatment is multidisciplinary and includes proper nutrition at the right time.The severity of malnutrition at the time of cancer diagnosis puts children at greater risk of infection, side effects, complications and treatment delays.At Cuddles, we work working with our partners and donors to nurture these children battling cancer so that they have a chance at survival and a healthy childhood.However, given the statistics, there is a clear need for greater awareness, compassion and commitment from more people for the case.”
Cuddles’ experience on the ground confirms that 80% of patients improved or maintained their nutritional status despite cancer therapy with the help of nutritional advice and nutritional assistance. In addition, 94% of patients who were attended returned for a second visit or continued treatment.
The report is published with insights from the FoodHeals app, a technical platform developed by Cuddles that automates clinical nutrition functions.
Last year, Cuddles Foundation interacted with over 6000 patients and conducted over 1 lakh counseling sessions. 28% of the children sought treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 11% for precursor B lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B ALL).