The rising number of cancer cases in the last decade has become a major public health concern in India. With nearly 1.16 million cases registered every year, the burden of these diseases has a far-reaching impact on individuals and their families both physically and mentally. Blood cancer is typically a malignancy of the blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes that result in uncontrolled blood cell production and altered function. Also Read - Almost half of the children with cancer left undiagnosed globally: Study

Over the last few years, India has seen a rise in blood-related disorders among children. As an expectant parent, there are multiple decisions one takes before the little one arrives. With growing uncertainties, expectant parents should educate themselves about the early on-set of childhood disorders and take necessary precautionary measures to help their baby fight these ailments with strength and courage. Amongst many childhood disorders, one of the leading ailments affecting children around the globe is Leukemia blood cancer. Since there is no specific screening modality for blood cancers, it is necessary to check on the unusual changes observed in the body. Also Read - Did you know? This novel test can help children with cancer

Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer. It is estimated that every year approximately 3,500 children are diagnosed with Leukemia. Leukaemia is caused by an increase in the number of white cells, which crowd our red blood cells and platelets, which our body needs to be healthy. Childhood cancer diagnosis, no doubt, can be worrisome for parents. Leukaemia, is related to the DNA of a person, which is responsible for the continued growth and healthy development of bodily cells. It develops because of mutations in the DNA of bone marrow cells, causing abnormal cell development in the blood and bone marrow. Leukaemia cells affect the production of healthy cells. In some cases, parents can pass on certain genetic mutations or inherited conditions that lead to an increased risk of developing Leukemia in children. Also Read - Robot ducks to comfort children with cancer in US hospitals

This world cancer day,Dr PriteshJunagade, a leading hemato-oncologist, and transplant physician, (Director,Lotus Hospital)share keysteps that expectant parents should take before the little one arrives tosafeguard their future.:

Nutrition plays a key role in building the foundation of a childs health even before they are born. Folic Acid and its derivatives, collectively known as folates, are micronutrients that are essentially helpful in maintaining health and genomic integrity. It helps build positive reactions within cells that are required in the fundamental process of a DNA. Evidence shows that folic acid deficiency during pregnancy could lead to the risk of developing childhood Leukemia. Hence, expectant mothers should ensure regular consumption of folate-rich foods and supplements. Some leafy vegetables, eggs, legumes, and dry fruit are a rich source of folate. This will go a long way in preventing Leukemia in the offspring.

Cord blood is derived from the umbilical cord and is rich in potent stem cells. For more than 20 years now, stem cell transplant has been successfully used by medical practitioners for treating Leukemia in adults and children. Nearly 35,000 cord blood transplants across the globe have been undertaken to treat blood-related disorders, and most of them were for Leukemia. As expectant parents, it is important to understand the role of cord blood preservation and its life-saving abilities. It is imperative for parents to be part of a community cord blood bank to ensure that a child has access to the right match from a vast pool of cord blood units.

Life Cell Community Banking, a unique stem cell banking initiative, allows access to over 50,000 consented and qualified cord blood units among community members when needed. The largest repository of Indian origin stem cells ensures less than 97% chance of finding a matching unit and protects the baby and the entire family against 80 plus medical conditions.

Ensuring a healthy and safe future for your baby is an important part of your parenthood journey. With the right nutrition, timely screening and consultation, and cord blood stem cell preservation, you can be assured that you are giving the best start possible to your baby.

Published : February 3, 2021 10:31 am

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Childhood leukaemia: Everything expectant parents need to know about blood cancer - TheHealthSite

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