About Haemophilia and Childhood Cancer

About Haemophilia

Haemophilia is a genetic bleeding disorder where an essential blood clotting factor is either partly or completely missing. In Haemophilia A, Factor VIII is missing and in Haemophilia B Factor IX is missing. Haemophilia may be severe, moderate or mild based on the level of factor in the blood. Haemophilia predominantly affects boys and girls are carriers.

The most common symptom is bleeding which can be internal or external. The majority are  joint bleeds, followed by muscle and life threatening bleeds. Haemophilia can however, affect any organ in the body. It is treated by infusing the missing clotting factor into the blood through an IV line. This added clotting factor lasts only for 2-3 days and has to be re-infused after that.

Under prophylaxis, factor is given as a preventive measure, thrice a week. Therefore, when a bleed occurs, the blood clots. This is the current gold standard of treatment in western countries. Children can go on to even become athletes. In developing countries like India, due to the high cost involved, factor is mostly only given on-demand when a bleed occurs to arrest the bleed. This leads to joints getting damaged due to repeated bleeding. Often children are crippled. Tiara provides support for prophylaxis as we aim to improve quality of life of children with Haemophilia.

As they grow, many children develop an immune response. Antibodies inhibit clot formation and the factor is destroyed before it can stop the bleeding. This makes treatment more challenging and increases the cost greatly. These children are treated with Anti-inhibitor Coagulant Complex (Feiba) or Recombinant Factor VIIa (NovoSeven) in place of factor.

Haemophilia is not curable, but patients can live normal lives with the right treatment.

About Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related deaths among children and adolescents. There is no known cause and there is no cure. Myths that it is caused by food and infections or is hereditary abound, but these are untrue, as is the fallacy that cancer is contagious. Early diagnosis and treatment lead to good outcomes as well as healthier after-cure lives.

The cause of Childhood Cancer is Unknown. If diagnosed early and treated, the treatment has a good outcome which leads to a healthy life after cure. The most common treatment modality is Chemotherapy. Other treatments include Radiation, Surgery and Bone Marrow Transplantation.

The Paediatric Oncology department handles children with cancer. A team (including pathologists, paediatric surgeons, transfusion medicine, radiologist, radiation oncologist, genetics, oncology nurses, nutritionist, psychologist and medical social worker) of people are required to effectively treat children with cancer.