What is Childhood Cancer?

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What is Childhood Cancer?

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and to create the same we would like to draw your attention towards this less explored termology in cancer. Although childhood cancer is very rare but can be deadly if not found before. Talking about the US it is the leading cause of death by disease past infancy among children. There are 12 major kinds of cancer that can affect the bones, muscle, blood, liver, kidney, brain or even the eyes. Common adult cancers (lung, breast, colon etc.) rarely occur in children or adolescents. The common types of cancer in children are Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Wilms’ tumor, retinoblastoma, brain tumors, bone tumors, neuroblastoma, Ewings sarcoma, osteosarcoma etc.

There is no known cause of childhood cancer, and it occurs regularly and randomly. Some children are even born with cancer. The possible causes for cancer can be certain substances such as carcinogens have been shown to increase the chances of getting cancer in adults. Tremendous amount of research is going on in this field to know about the causes of cancer in children.

Stats say in every 36 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer in US. In India, it is estimated that about 50,000 children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years will be diagnosed with cancer each year.
Although the actual number of children who develop cancer is small, the cure rate is high and the total number of productive life years saved by curing these children is significantly high, therefore the effort in treating them appropriately is all the more worthwhile and fulfilling.

Cancer in children is very different from that in adults. 3% of all cancers occur in children, they are fast growing but also very sensitive to chemotherapy treatment. So, cure is a very realistic and practically achievable goal.
Cancer in childhood is curable but only if diagnosed early and treated appropriately. It is not infectious and doesn’t spread from one child to the other. It is not usually inherited through the genes. For a good cure, early diagnosis and prompt treatment is necessary.
Though the treatment is long and it is very important that extra care is taken at home to ensure the discipline regularity, good hygiene and balanced nutrition during the treatment.

The treatment for cancer is somewhat complicated therefore it is advisable to take treatment in an experienced and specialized pediatric cancer unit.

A child after completing treatment for cancer is normal like any other child can go to school and play etc.
Warning signs of Cancer in child:

Medical help early for persistent symptoms
• White spot in the eye, new squint, blindness, bulging eyeball.
• Abdomen and pelvis, head and neck, limbs, testes, glands.
• Fever, loss of weight and appetite, pallor, fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding.
• Bones, joints, back and easy fractures.
• Change in behavior, balance, gait and milestones, headache, enlarging head.
Childhood cancer is curable. Just go for the best oncologist.

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