KARACHI: A large number of people including cancer survivors participated in a cycling event organised on Sunday to raise awareness about childhood cancer.

The Indus Hospital (TIH) had organised the event in collaboration with Critical Mass Karachi — a cycling movement on the streets of the metropolis.

Cyclists started their one-and-a-half-hour long journey from the Moin Khan Academy at 7am and ended it at the same place where a closing ceremony was then held.

“In Pakistan, approximately 8,000 children — under the age of 18 years — are diagnosed with cancer every year. At present, Pakistan has only 13 centres for paediatric cancer care including TIH,” Dr Shamvil Ashraf, the executive director, medical services at the Indus Health Network, said at the ceremony.

Sharing details of the hospital’s paediatric cancer care services, Dr Ashraf said that the TIH Korangi campus had 85 exclusive beds for paediatric oncology patients and about 9,000 children had been treated for cancer and blood diseases till June 2018.

According to him, one major risk factor for childhood cancers is genetic abnormalities and rarely is childhood cancer hereditary. Unlike cancer in adults, childhood cancer is curable if diagnosis is made early.

Performances by cancer survivors were also part of the event.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2019