"The benefactors contribution has resulted in supporting more than 27,000 cancer-stricken children throughout Iran," said Arasb Ahmadian, CEO of MAHAK in the opening of MAHAK’s Cancer Survivors Day’s celebration, mentioning a 9% increase in the number of children who have survived cancer in 2016 compared to the previous year in MAHAK.
Ahmadian referred to the fact that each day six new cases of children with cancer join MAHAK and added: "The number of newly diagnosed children with cancer with registered cases in MAHAK has had a 14% annual growth; the number of children left in the treatment phase has grown to 22% every year, and the per capita treatment costs for these children have increased 352% on average annually." Moreover he added that: "58% of cancer-stricken children under MAHAK’s coverage are in treatment phase, 23% have survived cancer and 19% are deceased. The good news is that the improvement of technology results in discoveries and inventions in the field of medical sciences which improve the quality of treatment and increase the chance of survival of our children with cancer."
Cancer is not as fearful as before
"Early referring to a specialist, early diagnosis of malignancy and the collaboration of the medical team with one another will increase the chance of survival from cancer." said Dr. Azim Mehrvar, head of MAHAK Pediatric Cancer Treatment and Research Center.
"Malignancies are significantly important for the medical team in pediatric treatment, due to the fact that a range of factors contribute to the disease control and effective therapeutic response" Dr. Mehrvar added.
"We do not consider the patient as an individual but we consider him as a member of his/her family; each of the individuals in the family have an effective role in the treatment process. As a result the presence of support services’ team is necessary for treatment of cancer-stricken children. "
"The horror that existed in the past towards cancer has decreased now because life expectancy has increased in cancer-stricken children." Dr. Mehrvar said.
We are responsible for every day of a cancer -stricken child’s life
"Cancer treatment may not lead to recovery, but we are responsible for every day of a cancer-stricken child's life, and we strive to ensure that all kinds of support services are delivered along with treatment services." said Behnaz Asangari, manager of MAHAK’s support services department.
She stated that: "The importance of this issue has led to setting an integrated system for support services throughout Iran as a strategic goal of 2017-2021. Based on this strategy, support services, including 42 packages, are being delivered to children with cancer throughout the whole country. In addition, the establishment of multi-disciplinary treatment services at MAHAK Hospital is one of the most important goals of this period. "
She mentioned some of MAHAK’s activities in this regard such as pursuing treatment and paying its costs, giving psychological and social work services to cancer-stricken children and their families, preparing the items the families need and educational services among 42 supportive packages, and added: "Based on the conditions and facilities at different hospitals, MAHAK support services will be provided to each province to preserve the life quality of our children throughout Iran.
It is worth mentioning that December 28th is MAHAK cancer-survivors’ day. Kiana, the daughter of the founder of MAHAK, Saideh Ghods, whose recovery has been a motivation for establishing this charity organization, was born on this day.