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About Sickkids
About SickKids

February 4, 2014

World Cancer Day: How SickKids is collaborating to improve childhood cancer outcomes

February 4 is World Cancer Day. This year, organizations and events around the world will mark the day by debunking the myths about cancer.

SickKids is working to improve cancer outcomes for children both here, at home in Canada, and around the world. In economically developed countries, mortality rates for childhood cancer occurring in children before 15 years of age have drastically declined over the past 40 years. Cutting-edge research and advances in treatment have led to global survival rates above seventy percent, but there is significant variability in the geographic distribution of these survival rates. In general, the rates of children surviving cancer are significantly lower in developing countries. In countries where access to specialized care may be limited, many childhood cancers are diagnosed too late or not at all.

The SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI): Enhancing Capacity for Care in Paediatric Cancers and Blood Disorders is a not-for-profit collaboration between SickKids and partner institutions across the Caribbean. Together, members of SCI strive to improve the outcomes and quality of life for children with cancer and blood disorders living in six Caribbean countries:  The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

SCI’s overarching strategy is to establish strong partnerships between health care specialists at SickKids and their counterparts in the Caribbean. The initiative is focused in areas of clinical care, laboratory and diagnostic services, nursing, research and evaluation, among others. The collective goal is to develop sustainable local capacity through training and education to support the specialized treatment of children living with these devastating diseases in the Caribbean.

Many SickKids experts and staff are involved with this initiative. Dr. Victor Blanchette, SCI McCaig Magee Medical Director notes, “We are confident that by working together we can achieve our collective goal to address the gaps and improve the quality of life for children and their families living with cancer and blood disorders in the Caribbean.”

This World Cancer Day, SickKids celebrates the many health-care professionals around the world working to eradicate this disease through collaboration and innovation.

Find out more about SCI and the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health