Why do Kids with Sarcoma need help ?
Sarcoma treatment is beset with high costs for the patient in addition to the psychological and social impact. It is a concern that majority of these individuals have limited resources to fight sarcoma coupled with the disparity in health insurance coverage and schemes which does not benefit all. Spreading awareness, helping with finances and early physical-social rehabilitation programmes are the requirements in this hour of need.
It is becoming a regular to encounter parents of sarcoma afflicted children who have difficulty in making ends meet during treatment of sarcoma (comprehensive treatment involves chemotherapy, limb salvage surgery and radiotherapy when indicated, often over 3 months to over 1 year). For reasons unknown, the parents and the families supporting them are devoid of health insurance schemes, while the support provide by state sponsored initiatives are insufficient and in some situations do not help cover cost of tumour prosthesis. This inability to be financially sound so as to withstand treatment process results in delay or refusal to accept limb salvage surgery, even amputation in rare instances leading to disease progression and ultimately proving fatal to the child.
Currently between 90 % to 95 % of kids with sarcomas in the world are undergoing limb salvage surgery. The cost of surgeries as an estimate vary upon various factors such as sarcoma type, age of patient, bone involved, type of reconstruction, placement of prosthesis and adjuvant therapies. They can range anywhere between 2 lakh rupees to 10 lakh rupees utilising world class facilities and depends on the previously detailed factors. In this scenario, helping them includes first and foremost easing the financial burden which has a direct consequence on providing and improving the emotional and psycho social quotient. Supporting these kids and their families go a long way in improving the outcomes of sarcoma treatment and reduce attrition due to lack of financial support and lack of education about undergoing sarcoma treatment considering the current survival rate of 50-60 % at 5 years in India which is lagging behind international outcomes.