Based on the 2015 statistics, over 10,000 children who are in the United States suffer from cancer. These children are below 15 years of age, and various types of this disease are present among these young individuals. Moreover, the cancer rate among children continue to increase each year. Fortunately, advances in technology and intensive research by professionals help extend the life of at least 80 percent of patients to more than 5 years. This is an impressive improvement, considering there was only a 58 percent survival rate from this fatal disease way back the 1970s.
Type of Cancer in Children
Regarded as one of the main causes of death among children, this disease comes in several types. These include bone cancers, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, leukemia, Wilms tumor, lymphoma, and malignant tumors in the central nervous system. There are also other rare types of this disease that develop in some children, and in rare instances, they may also suffer from a cancer type similar as what adults may have.
Below are information on the common types of cancer in children:
1. Central Nervous System
According to researchers, 26 percent of children with cancer suffer from tumors in the central nervous system, including the brain. Since there are various types of these abnormal growth in this part of the body, both treatment and prognosis are different. Survival rate also depends on how soon the disease is diagnosed and treated, as well as the body’s reaction to medication.
Generally, tumors originate in the brain stem, cerebellum and lower regions. On the other hand, brain tumors among adults form in the upper part. Common symptoms experienced by patients who are suffering from this condition include blurred vision, vomiting, nausea, frequent headaches and dizziness. They may also find some difficulty in walking or balancing themselves.
2. Wilms Tumor
Another type of childhood cancer, this disease affects the kidneys. Although it usually affects one kidney at first, the disease may progress and damage both of these organs. This type of cancer develops among younger children below 6 years of age. Typical symptom includes a swelling in the belly, which is the initial condition experienced. Eventually, a patient may suffer from loss of appetite, nausea, and fever.
The disease initially forms in cells responsible for motion control of the body or skeletal muscles. However, there are cases when the cancerous cell may appear in the groin, pelvis, abdomen, neck, leg, arm or the head. A swelling may be discovered on the affected area, and it may be painful.
Even before children are born, those who are inflicted with this disease eventually grows up unaware of having this type of cancer. The disease begins in the nerve cells among fetuses. Hence, once a child is born, cancer may already be present. Swelling in the abdomen is also observed among neuroblastoma patients, as well as fever and painful bones.
5. Bone cancers
Cancers originating in the bones are often discovered in teens, and about 3 percent of cancer cases are linked with primary bone cancer. Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma are common types of this disease. In the case of osteosarcoma, the cancerous cell develops in the arms or legs, and the bones grow at a fast rate. Swelling and pain around the affected area may be experienced. As for Ewing sarcoma, the areas where the disease originates include the middle of long leg bones, chest wall and pelvic bones.
The most common type of childhood cancer is leukemia. At least 30 percent of children’s cancer cases belong to this category, and this affects the blood and bone marrow. Acute myelogenous and acute lymphocytic leukemia are the different types of this disease. Common symptoms include weight loss, fever, pale skin, weakness, bruising or bleeding, fatigue and painful joints. Early diagnosis offers a better outlook on the disease, and the typical treatment option is chemotherapy.
The lymphocytes are affected by this type of cancer, and the cells may develop in lymph tissues such as thymus or tonsils. Once it starts, several body organs and the bone marrow are impacted. While there are varied symptoms experienced by patients, the most common ones include swollen lymph nodes, fever, weight loss, fatigue and sweats.
Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the two types of this ailments. The latter affects younger children, and a higher percentage of childhood cancers have non-Hodgkin lymphoma. On the other hand, Hodgkin lymphoma is common with young adults up to individuals over 55 years of age. Treatment of both diseases is rather intensive and the chances of surviving cancer are higher with early detection.