HEALTH ARTICLES

World Cancer Day February 15th 2022

Theme: Better Survival is achievable through your hands.

Childhood cancer

Cancer is an abnormal uncontrolled growth of cells.

Cancer in children does occur and an estimated 200,000 children are diagnosed annually with cancers in low to middle income countries. (LMIC)1

The most common cancer in children in Leukemia and Lymphoma and affects more males than females.

Other cancers in children are – Brain cancers, Retinoblastoma, Wilmstumour(kidney cancer), Bone cancers(Ewingstumour,osteosarcoma) , soft tissue sarcomas etc.

Why do children get cancers?

Most times, it is not clear the cause of the cancer but we know that a random genetic mutation in growing cells leads to cancers.

Childhood cancers thus cannot be prevented or identified through screening. Preventive efforts should focus on avoiding habits that can predispose to cancers in adulthood.

Warning signs

This depends on the type and location of the cancer but generally, common symptoms are: abnormal swellings, weight loss, poor feeding,anemia, weakness, poor growth, bone pain, persistent headaches.

Cancer in children is treated as in adults but has a better cure rate, treatment options are – surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy.

Avoidable deaths from childhood cancers in LMICs result from lack of diagnosis, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, obstacles to accessing care, abandonment of treatment, death from toxicity, and relapse.1

The most effective strategy to reduce the burden of cancer in children and improve outcomes is to focus on a prompt, correct diagnosis followed by effective, evidence-based therapy with tailored supportive care.

 

References

1. Childhood cancer (2021). Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer-in-children (Accessed: 15 February 2022).

 

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Emel Hospital is a specialist hospital and pediatric center. Our facility is fully computerized and staffed with professionals to deliver excellent primary medical and specialist's services. We are a well recognized pediatric centre.

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