Sri Lanka records surge in pediatric cancer

Sri Lanka is grappling with a concerning surge in pediatric cancer cases, with health professionals sounding the alarm over lifestyle practices contributing to this worrisome trend.

According to Dr. Deepal Perera, a Pediatrician at Colombo’s Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital, the number of reported cases has doubled over the years, escalating from 450 to a staggering 900 annually. 

This increase has sparked apprehension within the healthcare community regarding the health habits of the country’s youth.

Dr. Perera highlighted sedentary lifestyles as a primary culprit behind the rise in pediatric cancer cases. He particularly noted the growing addiction to mobile phones among children, pointing to its adverse effects on health.

Dr. Perera underscored the correlation between sedentary habits and the surge in non-communicable diseases, with leukemia and brain cancer notably on the rise among Sri Lanka’s younger population. He emphasized the importance of lifestyle choices in disease prevention, urging parents to monitor and restrict their children’s intake of sweetened beverages and snacks.

Furthemore, the Pediatrician advocated for breastfeeding as a crucial preventive measure against pediatric cancers, recommending a minimum duration of two years for breastfeeding.