What is childhood cancer?
Childhood cancer is cancerous growths (neoplasms) in a growing child. In the United States, an arbitrary set of the ages has been used, which are defined as 0−14 years old, inclusive of children up to fourteen years old.
What causes childhood cancer?
The main cause is unknown, but a number of different factors have been suspected including genetics, radiation, viruses, and the environment. There are also theories that say some people are more susceptible to the disease than others and that some pollutants can actually cause it.
Causes of childhood cancers most often include high levels of stress experienced. Children in families where there is constant conflict, where there is domestic violence, or where academic standards suffer are likely to experience more stress and have greater odds of living a short life span. This is likely to shorten their life spans and significantly increase their chances of getting chronic diseases like cancer, which have high death rates.
Types of Cancer that Develop in Children?
The most common type of childhood cancer is lymphomas, which are solid or liquid masses of the lymphatic system, usually found in the neck, lungs, or lymph nodes. Occasionally, they include a cell or group of cells that spread through the entire body. Mesothelioma is the most aggressive of all childhood cancers, with the earliest stage occurring in children who are five or six years of age and resulting in death within a few months. Some types of lymphomas, including Hodgkin’s disease and cervical cancer, can spread to the lymph vessels and capillaries.
There are also some kinds of cancer that are more common in children than in adults: non-Hodgkins lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and auto-immune disorders. One of the most common types of pediatric cancer is acute lymphocytic leukemia (also known as lymphomas), which accounts for approximately 20% of all childhood leukemia cases. However, children who have acute lymphocytic leukemia may also have inherited genetic factors that increase their risk of contracting the disease. As with adults, when it comes to fighting childhood leukemia, there is hope for those children who are diagnosed with solid tumors, as well as those with nodules and cysts.
Childhood leukemia :
Childhood leukaemia occurs when the blood cells of the bone marrow become abnormal, usually white blood cells that do not normally function correctly. These cells may join together to form new blood vessels in the blood. These blood vessels may then travel through the body, causing damage and sometimes pain and bleeding.
Lymphomas, also known as lymph nodes, appear similar to acne cysts and can affect any part of the body, but are particularly common in the leg, pelvis, and abdomen. They generally show up as a small lump that does not cause any pain or discomfort. They will usually grow larger over time but remain harmless. Because of their location, they are often difficult to detect at first, and doctors use a variety of tests to diagnose them. Once they are found, treatment options will vary depending on the severity of cancer.
Childhood cancer treatments :
These types of childhood cancers are relatively easy to treat when discovered early. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the standard treatments for lymphomas and related cancers of childhood origin. Doctors will monitor the patients and their symptoms as well as perform regular tests to determine whether the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Sometimes, it is not until the surgery has been performed that parents discover cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy will kill the cancerous cells and prevent the cells from growing back; however, chemotherapy can sometimes damage healthy cell growth, further impairing the patient.
Chemotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for several types of cancer, including leukemia and bone marrow cancer. In addition to chemotherapy, several different types of radiation therapies are used to treat childhood cancers. Depending on the type of cancer, doctors will use one or a combination of these treatments.
Cancer in teenagers and young adults
Today, there are more reported cases of cancer in teenagers and young adults. The cases of cancer in this age group have increased over the past five years. Survival is less than in older people for many cancer types, such as bone cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, and pleural mesothelioma, as well as leukemia. Factors contributing to the increased cancer incidence in this age group include lack of involvement in daily activities, greater fat loading, earlier onset of maturation, poor diet, higher exposure to toxic chemicals, and genetic factors.