Study to determine link between ARVs and childhood cancers

WINDHOEK � The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), Rolf Hansen, says it will participate in a study that will determine if antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) may have an influence in childhood diagnosis of cancer.

We are seeing this trend, especially with brain tumours and eye cancers, says Hansen in response to a question if there is an explanation for the seemingly high numbers of childhood cancer diagnosis. Other factors to be determined is whether lifestyle plays a role in childhood diagnosis of cancers, says Hansen. He adds that on average seven children are diagnosed with cancer every week. Some symptoms of cancer in children may include persisting fever and this may lead to misdiagnosis with malaria in rural areas, explains Hansen.

Fatigue, the lack of energy and swelling of the limps, bruising and bleeding may include other symptoms, explained Hansen. He also says that a diagnosis of cancer in a child places a lot of stress on the family. Usually it's the mother that must accompany the child to the hospital, says Hansen. This may create a feeling of neglect in the siblings that stay at home, Hansen explains.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia