Cancer in Children
Unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors. Also, children’s bodies tend to handle chemotherapy better than those of adults. Hence, they respond better to chemo treatment. However, cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation therapy can cause long-term side effects, so children who have had cancer need careful follow-up for the rest of their lives.
- Brain and other central nervous system tumors
- Wilms tumor
- Lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and >non-Hodgkin)
- Bone cancer (including >osteosarcoma and >Ewing sarcoma)
Lifestyle factors are not considered to play much of a part in childhood cancers but environmental factors, such as radiation exposure, have been linked with some types. Parental exposures (such as smoking) might increase a child’s risk of certain cancers, but there is still much research going on to find conclusive results. So far, most childhood cancers have not been shown to have outside causes.
Changes in the DNA, inherited or developed, increase the risk of cancer in children.
Since childhood cancers are usually not lifestyle and environment-related, change in habit or location will probably not make a difference. However, if it is due to a mutated gene, preventive surgery may be sought. However, this is very rare.
Each type of cancer has its own symptoms. However, some common symptoms are as follows.
- An unusual lump or swelling
- Unexplained paleness and loss of energy
- Easy bruising
- An ongoing pain in one area of the body
- Unexplained fever or illness that doesn't go away
- Frequent headaches, often with vomiting
- Sudden eye or vision changes
- Sudden unexplained weight loss
Treatment options depend on the type and stage of cancer. Treatment options might include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or other types of treatment. In many cases, more than one of these treatments is used.