Monday, 06 December 2021 08:07 GMT

Look: UAE landmarks light up in gold to boost awareness on childhood cancer


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Three key UAE landmarks have lit up in gold in solidarity with children suffering from cancer and to highlight their plight.

The House of Wisdom (HoW), Sharjah Archaeological Museum, and the Dubai Frame went golden to support children with cancer.

The UAE-based civil society organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), is hosting a series of events and initiatives to foster greater public awareness about childhood cancer throughout September, the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The FOCP is participating in the international campaign, 'Light It Up Gold' - founded by the American Childhood Cancer Organisation. The campaign involves participating organisations from around the world lighting up prominent buildings, iconic landmarks and monuments in golden hues throughout the month to raise awareness for childhood cancer.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is symbolised globally by a gold ribbon.

Webinar on childhood leukaemia

The FOCP also organised a virtual discussion titled 'Childhood cancers: Knowing the warning signs' in collaboration with paediatric haematologist and oncologist Dr Eman Taryam AlShamsi.

It offered insights into common cancers in children, their causes and early warning signs. Highlighting the least known facts about childhood cancers, she discussed the significance of early diagnosis, treatment advances and reasons for delay during diagnosis.

She also advised attending parents to be more sensitive to the complaints of children and heed their discomforts, instead of ignoring them.

Another webinar on childhood leukaemia for parents and caregivers of children with cancer will be conducted online in the last week of September.

Awareness key to defeating cancer

Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, director-general of FOCP, said:“According to a 2018 study, childhood cancer is the fourth leading cause of death globally among children under 15. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children aged up to 14 years are leukaemia, brain and other central nervous system tumours and lymphomas.

“In the UAE, among all cancer cases, approximately 9.5 per cent are paediatric cancer. Leukaemia accounts for almost one in every three cancer cases in children here and the World Health Organisation predicts a rise in childhood cancers in the country.”

Having the knowledge of these regional and global statistics and catching early signs and symptoms of childhood cancer is key“because early detection in most cases will mean half the battle won”.

“It is our duty as advocates, parents, teachers, community members, and nations to empower each other to safeguard our children from this ailment,” Al Madhi added.

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