Many childhood cancer symptoms may look like symptoms of everyday childhood illnesses. Most children experience headaches, stomachaches, bumps and bruises. In general, any symptom that lasts or seems to get worse is something you should discuss with your child’s healthcare provider.
The Childhood Oncology Group uses the acronym CHILD-CANCER to list potential childhood cancer symptoms:
When are most childhood cancers discovered?
On average, children are 6 years old when they’re diagnosed with cancer. But childhood cancer may affect children and teenagers of all ages.
What causes childhood cancer?
The actual aetiology of juvenile cancer is unknown, but experts have developed some suggestions that could aid with treatment.
When genes mutate and produce aberrant cells, cancer develops in every case. Adults experience these mutations or alterations as a result of ageing, as well as from exposure to carcinogens like tobacco, the sun’s UV rays, or chemicals at work. With cancer in adolescents and teenagers, such is not the case.
What are inherited disorders that increase cancer risk?
According to research, genetic abnormalities that cause some inherited illnesses also raise the risk of developing cancer. However, not all people with hereditary diseases develop cancer. Early cancer screenings may help those with these conditions identify cancer signals before they manifest as symptoms. Among the inherited conditions that raise the risk of paediatric cancer are:
How are childhood cancers diagnosed?
Healthcare providers may use several kinds of tests to diagnose cancer, based on factors like your child’s age, overall health and symptoms. Childhood cancer tests may include:
- Blood Tests. Your child’s provider may do blood tests to diagnose conditions such as leukaemia and lymphoma.
- Biopsy. Depending on the circumstances, your child’s doctor might perform a biopsy to collect samples of the tissue, fluid, or growths for a pathologist to examine under a microscope.
- CT Scan. (computed tomography scan). This test may help providers detect tumors.
What are the side effects of childhood cancer treatments?
All cancer treatments include side effects, although these effects differ based on the type of cancer being treated and the method of treatment. No matter the course of therapy, you might wish to think about palliative care. The symptoms and negative effects of your child’s medication can be lessened with palliative care. Your child’s treatment options can also be explained to you by a palliative care team, and they can also put you in touch with local support groups.
What are the complications of childhood cancer treatments?
Thanks to newer treatments, children with cancer are living longer. Because they’re living longer, they’re more likely to experience late effects.
Late effects are health issues that surface months and years after diagnosis or treatment. These health issues may include second cancers, which are new and different cancers that develop long after they’ve completed cancer treatment. Late effects may have an impact on your child’s:
- Organs and tissues.
- Growth and development.
- Moods, feelings and mental health.
- Ability to think, learn and remember information.
In some cases, late effects may be life-threatening. Survivors of childhood cancer will need long-term follow-up care, including regular tests to detect signs of late effects.
The condition of childhood leukaemia can be treated. The best option for your child will depend on the leukaemia’s kind and other factors.
Treatments include of:
- radiation treatment
- certain medication therapy
- Transplantation of stem cells