Armenian doctors have to both treat cancer and raise funds for it

Armenian doctors have to both treat cancer and raise funds for it
Children die in Armenia due to shortage of money for the treatment.

28.02.2010 GMT+04:00

February 15 is International Childhood Cancer Day. New cases of cancer
in Armenia account for 7000 annually, including about 100 children
under 15. The figure is terrifying, although they don’t differ much
from the world statistics. Cancer is a very insidious disease without
marked initial symptoms. In most cases, the latent period of the
disease is durable and it can hardly be detected in the initial stage.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ However, the latent period is shorter for the
children’s cancer and treatment results become apparent earlier.
`Should no symptom of the disease be detected 2 years later once the
treatment has ended, it means the child has survived. I would like to
mention that we don’t guarantee a long life. But we do cure the
children suffering from cancer,’ says professor Gregory Badalyan, head
of pediatric oncology and chemotherapy department at the National
Oncology Center of Armenia.

Over 65% children have survived cancer in Armenia and thanks to the
Armenian doctors’ efforts, 62% of diseases, known as untreatable some
10 years ago, are now possible to treat in Armenia.

Cancer can occur at any age. But the most vulnerable ages for children
are 2-4 and 10-12.
`Recently we have successfully operated a 20-day-old child,’ said
Gregory Badalyan.

There are cases, when doctors doubt, whether they need to start the
treatment. `Recently we have had a patient with advanced cancer.
However, he was discharged after a month treatment,’ recalled the
professor.

Such results are very encouraging. Armenia has both excellent
personnel, including young and more experienced specialists, and good
medical equipment. However, sometimes we face a problem, which is
difficult to solve. That’s the financial issues, as the cancer
treatment is very expensive and not all the patients can afford it.
Moreover, a treatment course requires continuous purchase of expensive
medication.

Sometimes the treatment expenses are covered by the state, allocating
AMD 190 thousand per child. But those are very little funds, allowing
to acquire essential medication only. Much more money is required for
serious treatment. The professor provides shocking facts – annually a
certain number of children die in Armenia due to the shortage of funds
for their treatment. `We certainly do our utmost to prescribe cheaper
drugs for those children, but doing it, we are wasting the precious
time. The treatment of such a disease requires a precise schedule,’ he
said.

Foundations to support children suffering from cancer exist all over
the world. They provide funds for the purchase of the medicines and
equipment needed. `I would like to create a foundation in Armenia,
which would allocate funds to buy drugs,’ the head of pediatric
oncology and chemotherapy stated. Aiming to achieve that goal, the
professor, with the support of various NGOs, organizes charitable
concerts and dinners. On February 18, such dinner was held. `60 high
profile guests, including Armenian officials, ambassadors from
different countries, heads of hospitals, businessmen were invited. I
presented a report on the on-going program. The guests donated about
USD 6 thousand in total. The funds will be used to pay for the cancer
treatment of the children in need,’ Gregory Badalyan mentioned.

The children treated in the RA NOC are often not aware of their
disease. However, some of them openly discuss the disease once they
have survived it. `In June, I am planning to gather all my patients,
including those who are already parents and I wish the number of
cancer survivors will increase by then,’ the professor said.

Mane Amirjanyan
«PanARMENIAN.Net» analytical department

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS