New Delhi: It took the family of seven-year-old Lipi Mandal, daughter of a rickshaw-puller, three months to detect that her high fever, loss of appetite and stomach ache was due to blood cancer.Till then she and her father, a native of Malda in West Bengal now living in Noida near Delhi, were being made to run around by private doctors who thought that the girl was suffering from anaemia.The ordeal of the lower kindergarten student, say oncologists and volunteers, is a reflection of the common problem in India -- the late diagnosis of childhood cancer."Nearly 70-80 children in India die of cancer each year, largely due to late detection, lack of awareness, high cost of treatment and insufficient treatment and supportive care," Manoj Kumar Gujela, senior programme officer of NGO Cankids Kidscan which is supporting Lipi, told.
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