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Retinoblastoma rising among Indian children: AIIMS

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New Delhi: Retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer, is a fast emerging disease among Indian children, leading eye specialists at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said here on Thursday.

They averred that though earlier the disease used to occur 1 in 20,000 live births but now the rise in the disease is such that every year over 20,000 new cases of retinoblastoma are being witnessed.

The opthalmologists stated that late diagnosis and misconceptions about the symptoms were the major reasons that the eye cancer even extended to the brain and then to the entire body, ultimately leaving no option of treatment for the patients.

“Retinoblastoma basically occurs among children below five years. This can be caused both genetically and non-genetically. The problem with Indian children is that due to lack of awareness the parents bring their children only after observing any thing major in the eyes of their children,” said Bhavana Chawla, associate professor at RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS.

She was speaking to reporters during a discussion at AIIMS on the rise of retinoblastoma.

Noting that many people in India didn’t recognise the symptoms of eye cancer due to lack of awareness, Chawla said that any patient with a white spot in the eye, squint or any type of shine in the eye balls should come and get tested for retinoblastoma.

She also said that in many cases it becomes difficult for doctors to save the eye sight which gets majorly affected during the disease.

Professor Pradeep Sharma at RP centre said that the major problem with Indians suffering from retinoblastoma is that they approach the doctors at a very late stage even though India has made some of the finest medical advancements in treating eye cancer.

“Treatments like surgery, laser surgery, chemotherapy with perfect effect are the only way to cure the disease. The situation is such that currently it is not possible to save the eyesight of the patient after the surgery, however research is on to make it possible,” Sharma told IANS.

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Rahul Gandhi: Accepting Less Than Scrapping Farm Laws Will Be Deceit To Farmers

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The Congress has stepped up the demand of immediately scrapping the farm laws in the wake of the farmers’ protest in the national capital. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet,”Accepting less than scrapping of three black farm laws will be deceit to farmers and the country.”

The Congress leader’s reaction comes even as the meeting between the farmers and the government is going on to resolve the issue.

Talks between the Centre and over 34 farmer union representatives has started here, even as the farmers protest entered the eighth straight day with thousands sitting on different Delhi borders blocking essential supply chains to the city.

Like the previous round of talks held on December 1, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal are leading the meeting, which is expected to play a major role in farmers’ future course of action on whether they would continue the protest or withdraw it.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Sanyukta Morcha and Krantikari Kisan Union are among over the 34 farm union representatives taking part in the meeting, which started around 12.30 p.m.

The fourth round of meetings with the farmer leaders started at Vigyan Bhawan after the earlier talks remained inconclusive on December 1.

In the last meeting, the farmers’ representatives had unanimously rejected the Centre’s proposal of a special committee to resolve concerns over the farm laws.

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