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In India, malnutrition is one of the key factor for reduced survivability amongst children with cancer. A study from AIIMS, New Delhi, found that 30-40% of child cancer patients were undernourished. This prevalence of malnutrition in children with cancer is a significant cause of decreased survival, especially in low-income countries.
If left untreated, this could lead to a significant increase in mortality rate. With a compelling number of children diagnosed with severe-acute malnutrition at diagnosis, the WHO reports that one third of deaths from cancer can be attributed to behavioral and dietary risks. To make matters worse, abandoning therapy are more likely in children who are malnourished; and for those who stay, their nutritional status could prove detrimental to the side-effects from therapy.
It is evident that this is a urgent issue at hand. This indicates that there is a pressing need to tackle the issue of malnutrition for the children in India to support their recovery.
At Cuddles Foundation, we aim to address the issue of malnutrition in children with cancer through our program, FoodHeals, in the following ways: