Raise awareness of Neuroblastoma by Government funded high profile national campaign
Neuroblastoma is a very aggressive form of childhood Cancer; after domestic accident, it is the second most frequent cause of mortality in children.
It is the single most common type of Cancer in infants and the 4th most common type of Cancer in children. However, few people have heard of it and most do not know the signs and symptoms.
This means that although symptoms may have been present in the child for some time, in over 75% of children the diagnosis is not made until the disease has reached stage 4, the final stage. Prognosis for this group is grim, offering around 5% chance of survival.
In contrast, children diagnosed in the early stages have up to a 95% chance of survival.
Treating a child who has stage 4 Neuroblastoma costs the NHS an average of £600,000 in the first year alone. Around 75 children per year will be diagnosed at stage 4. Several of those families will opt for treatment abroad, meaning an average of £300,000 of UK fundraised money, per child, will go overseas.
Most children will still not survive – largely because their symptoms were diagnosed too late.
High profile awareness campaigns, such as that for cot death and Meningitis, have dramatically slashed mortality rates through alerting the public to danger signs. The same would be true for Neuroblastoma.
We are requesting a Government funded awareness campaign to educate the public to recognise the signs and symptoms of Neuroblastoma, and empower parents and GP's to adopt a policy of early testing when symptoms first present.
In addition to this, we request that strict guidelines be placed on UK organisations who label Neuroblastoma as rare, contradicting major worldwide Neuroblastoma organisations.
The public says it will not stand by and see children die from a simple lack of education and awareness and, in the current economic climate, demands better use of public money in combating this disease earlier.