International Childhood Cancer Day: App provides support to child cancer patients

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By Lucia Riera Bosqued
app to give practical support to families of cancer patients
app to give practical support to families of cancer patients   -   Copyright  Lucia Riera

A childhood cancer diagnosis has a devastating impact on a family, but a new app in Spain aims to give both parents and children the practical and emotional support they need.

Paula Rodriguez is the creator of a Spanish app "Vivire con un Cencer Infantil" (Living with Childhood Cancer) that helps people to track childhood cancer symptoms.

"When your child is diagnosed with cancer, a lot of emotions accumulate," she said.

"Among them fear, uncertainty, anger, incomprehension and we are overwhelmed by a lot of data such as diagnoses, prognoses, treatments, surgeries and transfers to other hospitals."

The app aims to accompany and inform families throughout the treatment process.

The tool consists of a menu with five sections which tracks medical appointments, tests, feelings, as well as pain the child experiences during exercise.

The application then provides families with graphs so they can see the evolution of symptoms to help to give them more support.

Every year, more than 400,000 children and teenagers under 20-years-old are diagnosed with cancer.

The rate of survival depends on where you are born. Most high income countries have an 80% survival rate but that rate can fall to as low as 20% in low and mIddle income countries.

The World Health Organization's Global Childhood Cancer Initiative aims to eliminate the pain and suffering of children battling cancer and achieve at least a 60% survival rate for all children diagnosed with cancer around the world by 2030.

This would represent an approximate doubling of the current cure rate and will save an additional one million children’s lives over the next decade.

February 15th is International Childhood Cancer Day.

Watch the full report in the video player above.