Childhood Cancer – what is it?
What is cancer? The human body consists of trillions of living cells. Normal ‘good’ cells grow, divide and die
according to the canons of all biological. During the growing human cells divide more rapidly, and later, upon reaching adulthood, they only make up for the loss of dead cells and are involved in the healing process.
Cancer starts when some abnormal cells in a certain part of
the body begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably. This is a
common basis for all cancers.
The growth of cancer cells differs from that of normal cells. Instead, obeying the dictates of time, dying, cancer cells
continue to grow and give rise to all of the new atypical cells. These cells have the ability to prenepriyatneyshee
another: they penetrate into the surrounding tissue, just germinating them their tumor “claws”. But what makes cancer cells so aggressive? DNA damage – cells of the brain, which determines its behavior. Normal cells, if something happened to her DNA, or restores it, or dies. It is not restored in the DNA of the cancer cell, but the cell does not die, as it should be normal. In contrast, the cell, like tearing off the chain starts to make itself like absolutely unnecessary body cells with exactly the same damaged DNA. People can inherit damaged DNA, but most of its damage caused by a malfunction in the process of cell division or in connection with the influence of environmental factors. In adults, it can be something trivial factors, such as smoking. But more often the cause of cancer and remains unclear. Cancer cells often “travel” to different parts of the body where they begin to grow and form new tumors. This process is called metastasis and starts, it is only the cancer cells get into the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Different types behave differently from each other cancers. Tumors can be of various sizes and in different ways to meet this or that method of treatment. That is why children suffering from cancer in need of such treatment, which would correspond to their particular case.
What distinguishes the cancer in children of cancer in adults?
Types of cancer that occurs in children, often differ from those of adults. Children’s cancer pathology are often the
result of changes in the DNA, which occurred very early, sometimes even before birth. Unlike cancer in adults, a
children’s cancer is not so much tied to lifestyle or environmental factors.
With few exceptions, childhood cancer responds better to chemotherapy. Children’s body carries it better adult. But
then chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy, can cause delayed in time the side effects, so the children who have had cancer should be under close medical supervision for the rest of life.
What is the key statistics for childhood cancer?
Cancer in children is less than 1% of all cases detected every year in the world’s population of cancer. Over the past few decades, the incidence of children’s cancer has increased slightly.
Due to the improvement of cancer treatments to date, more than 80% of cancer patients childhood live 5 years or more. If we take, for example, the 70s of the last century, then the rate of 5-year-old survival rate is only about 60%.
However, survival of cancer patients is highly dependent on the type of cancer and several other factors. Cancer is the second most common cause of childhood death after accidents.
The most common types of cancer in children
The term “leukemia” brings together under a cancer of the bone marrow and blood diseases. This is the most common type of cancer in children and accounts for 34% of all childhood cancer pathology. The most common leukemia is acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute granulocytic leukemia. Among the common symptoms of these conditions can be noted pain in bones and joints, weakness, fatigue, bleeding, fever and weight loss.
Brain tumors and other nervous system tumors
The share of this cancer accounts for 27% and the second highest frequency of occurrence in children. There are many different types of brain tumors, treatments and medical forecast which differ significantly. Most of them start in the lower regions of the brain, such as the cerebellum and brain stem. The typical clinical picture includes headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, double vision, abnormal gait and small movements. In adults, the cancer affects more often the upper parts of the brain.
Neuroblastoma arises in nerve cells of the embryo or fetus and appears in newborns and infants, at least – for children older than 10 years. The tumor can develop anywhere, but most often it occurs in the abdomen and looks like a small swelling. This type of cancer accounts for 7% of all cases of childhood cancer pathology.
Wilms’ tumor affects one or (more rarely) two kidneys. It found, as a rule, in children 3-4 years. Like neuroblastoma
appears the same swelling in the abdomen. May cause symptoms such as fever, pain, nausea and loss of appetite. Among other childhood cancers Wilms tumor occurs in 5% of cases.
Lymphoma – is a group of cancers that start in certain immune system cells – lymphocytes. Most often lymphoma “attacks” the lymph nodes or other clusters of lymphoid tissue (tonsils, thymus), and bone marrow, causing weight loss, fever, sweats, fatigue and swelling of cervical, axillary and inguinal lymph nodes.
There are two types of lymphoma, both of which can occur in both children and adults: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The share of each accounted for 4% of cancer among children. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most common in two age groups: 15 to 40 years of age and over 55 years. In this sense, it is more common in children non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a more aggressive but bad responsive to treatment compared with those cases in adults
Rhabdomyosarcoma affects muscle tissue. It can be found in the neck, groin, abdomen and pelvis, as well as in the limbs. Among all types of soft tissue sarcomas in children rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common (3% in the overall picture of childhood cancer).
Retinoblastoma – a cancer of the eye. Children found in 3% of cases, as a rule – before the age of 2 years. Detected parents or ophthalmologist due to the following features: normally when highlighting pupil eye sees red because of the blood vessels back of the eye, and in retinoblastoma pupil appears white or pink. This can be seen in the photo.
From this group of cancer more often than other children found osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma.
Osteosarcoma is most common in adolescents and usually occurs in places where the bone grows actively in all: near the ends of long bones. It often causes bone pain, worse at night or when the motor activity, as well as swelling in the affected area.
Ewing’s sarcoma occurs less frequently than osteosarcoma (1% vs. 3%). The most likely place its habitat – the pelvis or chest wall (rib and shoulder blade), and the lower limb bones.
Can I prevent cancer in children?
In contrast to adults, children do not exist any factors connected with lifestyle (such as smoking), which could
contribute to the development of cancer. From childhood cancer have been linked only a limited number of environmental factors that can cause cancer. One is radiation. And in most cases, this applies to those cases where radiation exposure is required, for example, radiation therapy in the treatment of any other type of cancer (it turns out that a cancer being treated, thereby causing the other). Therefore, if a child has developed cancer, parents should not blame themselves, because prevent this disease is not within their power.
Very rarely, a child may inherit from their parents, some genetic mutations that make it susceptible to certain types of cancer. In such cases, the oncologist may recommend a so- called preventive surgery that removed a body in which a high probability of tumor development. Again, this is very, very rare.
Cancer Symptoms in Children Childhood
Cancer sometimes very difficult to detect, mainly due to the fact that its symptoms overlap with many common diseases and injuries. Children often get sick, often they go to the bumps and bruises, and in fact all of these manifestations of “golden child” may mask the early signs of cancer.
Parents should be sure that their child gets regular medical check-ups in the garden or school, and to closely monitor all unusual and enduring symptoms alone. These symptoms include:
- unusual swelling or seal;
- unexplained weakness and pallor;
- tendency to bruise;
- persistent pain in any particular area of the body;
- unexplained and lasting fever and pain;
- Frequent headaches sometimes – along with vomiting;
- sudden visual disturbances;
- rapid weight loss.
Most of these symptoms, fortunately, are the result of any symptom of infection or injury. However, parents should always be on the alert. Those children who have inherited from their parents adverse genetic changes, and all should be under close medical and parental controls.
Treatment of cancer in children
Selection of childhood cancer treatment depend mainly on the species and its stage (scale propagation). The treatment program may include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and / or other treatments. In most cases, the combination treatment.
With a few exceptions, but childhood cancer responds well to chemotherapy. This is due to its tendency to rapid growth, and the majority of chemotherapeutic agents act exactly on the fast-growing cancer cells. Children’s body as a whole recovers better on high doses of chemotherapy as compared to adults. The use of more intensive treatment options gives you a better chance of ultimate success, but at the same time, increases the risk of short-term and long-term side effects. In this regard, an oncologist should do everything possible to balance the need for a patient in intensive care with a possible risk of unwanted side effects.
Survival rates for childhood cancer
Over the past decade there has been significant progress in the treatment of cancer in children, many forms of which are now amenable to a complete cure. Nevertheless, in certain types of cancers are treated much worse than others.
In this chapter we will give a 5-year survival rate of cancer among pediatric patients. Immediately, we note that most of the children live much more than 5 years, and many did so and fully cured. Just oncologists was chosen 5-year term as a generic indicator that helps them to compare the different perspectives of resolution of clinical cases. Another point that is important to note is the fact that for the calculation of these indicators data were taken over a period longer than the specified 5 years, and improvements in the treatment of recent years cancer gives every reason to believe that today figures 5-year survival rate should be higher.
Thus, according to the statistical data of the American Cancer Society, on the basis of information obtained during the period from 2002 to 2008 figures 5-year survival in cancer pediatric patients for the most common types of cancer are:
- leukemia – 84%;
- cancer of the nervous system, including brain – 71%;
- Wilms tumor (kidney cancer) – 89%;
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma – 96%;
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – 86%;
- rhabdomyosarcoma – 68%;
- neuroblastoma – 75%;
- osteosarcoma (bone cancer) – 71%.
Of course, these figures are generic and can not serve as the sole source of estimates and projections in each case. Much is determined by type of cancer, as well as factors such as the child’s age, location and size of the tumor, the treatment received and the responsiveness of cancer cells on it.
The following side effects
childhood cancer treatment requires a special approach, based on a careful medical supervision of the patient after
treatment. After all, the sooner potential problems are identified, the easier it will be to remove them. The patient,
who beat cancer, in any case, the risk to get the number of the delayed time of side effects, coupled with a history of
treatment. These negative effects may include:
- lung problems (caused by certain chemotherapy or radiation therapy);
- Growth and physical developmental delay (including osteo-muscular system);
- abnormalities in sexual development and possible infertility;
- problems associated with learning disabilities;
- an increased risk of new cancer pathology.
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bone cancer, Brain tumors and other nervous system tumors, Cancer symptoms in children, How can prevent cancer in children, Leukemia, lymphoma, retinoblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, Side effects for childhood cancer, Survival rates for childhood cancer, sympathicoblastoma, Treatment of cancer in children, What distinguishes the cancer in children of cancer in adults, What is the key statistics for childhood cancer, What is the most common types of cancer in children, wilms’ tumor