Childhood Cancer

Cancer is one of the severe diseases. But all cancer is not contiguous then also it is becoming common everywhere. It is only transferred while sex, after organ transplant and during pregnancy. During pregnancy, cancer is transfer when mother’s cancer comes in contact with foetus which is very rare than also childhood cancer is most common. There are so many other causes.  The main factor which causes cancer in adult is drastically change in diet, lifestyle & environmental. Childhood cancer is not caused by these factors.

In India, one in 1000 children is affected by cancer.

According to statistics of 2012, 1.6 to 4.8 of all cancer cases reported in the country is among children below 15 years of age. And in 2013 it rises to 2.5.

Cancer in children is much easily curable than in adult:

Normal body have normal cells which divide to make new cells. In children, normal cells divide to allow them to grow but in adult it divides to replace worn-out or dying cells or to repair injuries. But, Cancer body have cancer cells which multiply abnormally and forms abnormal cells. These cells never die but it affects other cells and damage to DNA. Cancer cell grow at different rate and respond to different treatments. That is why cancer in children responds differently to treatment.

Why childhood cancers respond differently to treatment?

Cancers in childhood is different from adult cancer because childhood cancer is caused mostly from changes is DNA in cells not from environmental factors. As we all know cancer is not treated from medicine. There is different treatment like chemotherapy.. Children cancer responds better to chemotherapy than adult one. Reason behind better affect is chemotherapy affect cells that have faster growing rate and in early age cells are growing rapidly. Children bodies are also recover fast from heavy doses of treatment than adult bodies. But their long term side effects need to be cured for life time even in childhood cancer.


Types of Cancers in Childhood:


Leukemia is common in both adults and children. It is around 31 % of all childhood cancers. This cancer is related bone marrow and blood. Functions Bone marrow is make red blood cell, white blood cell and platelets for other body functions. Leukemia cells affect bone marrow and its function. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is common childhood cancer. Symptoms of leukemia in children are different from adult’s leukemia.

Symptoms of leukemia in children:

· Anaemia.

· Bleeding and/or bruising.

· Recurrent infections.

· Bone and joint pain.

· Abdominal pain.

· Pale skin

· Weight loss

· Fatigue

· Swollen lymph nodes.

· Difficulty breathing.


It is cancer of immune system. The immune system destroys the cells which are not healthy and stores the lymphocytes cells in lymphoid tissues in the body.

Some types of lymphoma cancer include Hodgkin disease (or Hodgkin lymphoma) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin is common in children.

Symptoms of Lymphoma in children:

· Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin

· Weight loss

· Fever

· Sweats

· Weakness

Bone cancer (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)

Bone Cancer in children is different from metastatic bone cancer in adults and it is called primary bone cancer. This cancer is started in one body part and later it is transfer to other body parts.

Types of primary bone cancers in children:

Osteosarcoma: It is most common in teens, and usually develops where the bone is growing quickly, such as near the ends of the long bones in the legs or arms.


· Bone pain (worse at night or with activity)

· Swelling around the bone.

Ewing sarcoma: It is a less common type of bone cancer, It start in the bones in the pelvis, the chest wall (such as the ribs or shoulder blades), or in the middle of the long leg bones.


· Bone pain

Other cancer in childhood:

· Rhabdomyosarcoma

· Retinoblastoma

· Brain and other central nervous system tumors

· Neuroblastoma

· Wilms tumor

Unusual signs and symptoms in children must not be ignored:

Early symptoms of cancer are hardly recognized in children because this symptoms is as common as symptoms of normal illness and injuries. Children should have regular check-ups and below unusual causes shouldn’t be ignored.

· An unusual lump or swelling

· Unexplained paleness and loss of energy

· Easy bruising

· An on-going pain in one area of the body

· Limping

· Unexplained fever or illness that doesn’t go away

· Frequent headaches, often with vomiting

· Sudden eye or vision changes

· Sudden unexplained weight loss

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