Is pediatric cancer common? Cancer is uncommon in children, most of the time there is no specific reason for childhood cancers. Pediatric cancers are different from adult cancers. These cancers do not occur due to any environmental risks. It is the result of DNA changes in cells that happens very early in life. With the help of advanced treatment options, 70% of children survive more than 5 years and above. Still, cancer is the second-largest disease
that causes death in young children below 15years.
types of Pediatric Cancer and symptoms
These are cancers of bone marrow and blood, these cancers account about 30% in children. The common types of leukemia in children are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
Symptoms – bone and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, pale skin, bleeding or bruising, fever, and weight loss.
these are the second highest cancers in children. There are many types of brain tumors. Brain tumors in children start in the lower parts of the brain such as the cerebellum or brain stem whereas for adults it occurs in upper parts of the brain.
Symptoms – headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred or double vision, dizziness, seizures, trouble walking or handling objects
these arise from immature nerve cells in young children below 5 years. This starts in the adrenal glands and usually noticed in the belly (abdomen) as swelling. It is more common in male than females, around 1-2 percent of children may have a family history.
Symptoms – Impaired ability to walk, changes in the eyes like bulging, dark circles, droopy eyelids, joint pains, diarrhea, high blood pressure.
it is also called as nephroblastoma. This occurs in one or both the kidneys of a child below 4years and very uncommon in children above 5years. Around 5% of young children are affected by Wilms tumor.
Symptoms – swelling or lump in the belly, fever, pain, nausea, and very poor appetite.
These types of tumors develop in the immune system cells called lymphocytes. Very commonly they start in the lymph nodes and other lymph tissues such as tonsils. They also affect other organs such and bone marrow. Symptoms depend upon the area the cancer is growing. There are two types of lymphoma Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin, both of these occur in adults and children. Hodgkin disease is rare in young children below 5 years. This cancer and its treatment are similar for children and adults. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma occurs to younger children but rare in children less than 3 years. These need a quicker treatment as they grow very fast. The good thing is they tend to respond to
Symptoms – Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin, loss of weight, fever, sweats, and weakness.
Rhabdomyosarcoma- this occurs in any place of the body like head, and neck, groin, belly (abdomen), pelvis, or in an arm or leg,
this is a cancer of the eye. It is found in children below 2 years and rarely found in children above 5 years. It is identified by the child’s unusual eye looks. When light is flashed on the eye, the pupil looks red because of the blood vessels in the back of the eye. But, with retinoblastoma, it looks white or pink. This is noticed when a flash picture is taken.
these type of cancers occurs to both children and adults. Osteosarcoma is common in teens and found in the areas where the bone is growing quickly such as legs or arms. Ewing sarcoma is rare, mostly found in young teens. It starts in pelvic (hip) bones, the chest wall, or in the middle of the long leg bones.
Symptoms – bone pain and swelling
This occurs in any place of the body like head, and neck, groin, belly (abdomen), pelvis, or in an arm or leg.
Symptoms – Pain, swelling
cause of childhood cancer
In adults, overweight, unhealthy diet, smoking, alcohol, lifestyle changes may affect. But, in children these factors don’t play any role. Sometimes, a genetic condition such as Down syndrome may increase the risk. Kids who had undergone chemotherapy or radiation may again get cancer.
The treatments of childhood cancer include
- Radiation Therapy
- Bone Marrow Transplant