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WCH Pediatric Cancer Program Exceeds National Benchmark

Women's & Children's Hospital September 15, 2017

The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology program at the Kids Specialty Center on the Women’s & Children’s Hospital campus has a success rate that is a full 10 percent higher than the national average.

The statistic is among the latest data included in the program’s bi-annual Pediatric Cancer Report released this September, national Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. Dr. Ammar Morad, pediatric hematologist/oncologist, started the practice at the Kids Specialty Center in 2007. Since, he has treated 130 pediatric patients from 16 area parishes.

An estimated 10,380 children in the nation below age 15 were diagnosed with some form of childhood cancer in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society. That’s less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the nation. About 80 percent of children with cancer survive five years or more, according to the American Cancer Society’s official website, Cancer.org. In the 2017 Pediatric Cancer Report released today, Dr. Morad reports a 90 percent success rate for his Lafayette-based pediatric hematology/oncology practice.

“The treatment we provide locally is very much in line with the national standards that every major cancer center across the country uses,” said Dr. Morad, who also serves as medical director for the Cancer & Infusion Center at Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “We have assembled an interdisciplinary team including pediatric general surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, Child Life Specialists and other skilled, experienced professionals driven to providing world-class care.

“In addition,” he added, “we’ve established strong, well-founded relationships with multiple community partners to ensure patients and their families experience comprehensive care right here in Acadiana without having to travel away from their built-in support system of family, friends and neighbors.”

Leukemia (61 cases) and lymphoma (19 cases) lead the types of pediatric cancers treated in the first 10 years of the program, the 2017 Pediatric Cancer Report states. Topping the list of parishes with the most number of diagnosed cases are Lafayette (36), St. Landry (17) and Calcasieu (14).

“Our program continues to grow beyond Lafayette Parish, now serving 16 parishes with a pediatric population of 300,000 – including clinic locations in Lake Charles and Alexandria,” Dr. Morad said. “It’s not just about growing the program. It’s about further developing our family-centered approach to treating children with cancer.”

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