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5 Types of Paediatric Cancer You Need to Know About

By Dr. Ramandeep Singh Arora in Paediatric (Ped) Oncology , Cancer Care / Oncology

Sep 04 , 2017 | 3 min read

Bliss overpowers one’s soul while watching the little kids brimming with the happiness of new dreams, desires, and possibilities that future holds for them. And it becomes the mission of every single parent to help the little angels achieve their wishes and be happy and healthy forever. However, breaking such perfect picture, diseases like CANCER, leave not just the child but the parents helpless and distressed.

Childhood cancer or Paediatric cancers affect more than 175,000 children per year worldwide. With timely diagnosis and proper treatment, this dreaded disease can be cured for ever in most of these kids. Awareness plays a vital role in getting the best care and treatment for the suffering child.

Dr. Ramandeep Arora says, to begin with, one must know that there are many types of childhood cancers that originate from various body parts such as blood, brain, bones muscles etc. In this article, he shall make you aware about 5 common types of Paediatric Cancers you need to know about. Read the list below:

Leukemia

Leukemia means blood cancer which is the most common type of childhood cancer (about 30% of the total cancer burden in children). The cancerous cells originate in bone marrow (the site where normal blood production occurs) and spread to involve liver, spleen and lymph nodes. These abnormal cells also suppress the normal blood cells production. All this leads to fever, low hemoglobin (child looks pale and feels fatigued), weight loss, body pains, bleeding from various sites, easy bruising or small pinpoint bleeding spots over the body (petechiae), swellings in the neck, armpits (involved lymph nodes). The child is prone to catch repeated or severe infections. Various types of leukemia seen in children include Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia and less commonly, chronic myeloid leukemia. These cancers are highly amenable to treatment and offer a good chance of cure if diagnosed early and appropriately managed.

Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

These cancers comprise the second most common group of childhood malignancies (about 20%). Depending on the site, size, and aggressiveness of the tumor, the child may have symptoms of early morning headache, vomiting, double vision, abnormal movements with or without loss of consciousness. There may be weakness of one or more limbs, unsteady gait, difficulty in walking, or bladder bowel symptoms (involuntary passage or difficulty in passing urine or stools)

Lymphomas

Accounting for approximately 10-15% of the childhood cancer cases, lymphomas involve lymphatic tissues within the body, including the lymph nodes, tonsils, and spleen. They arise from any part of the body. Most commonly children present with persistent or increasing swellings in neck, armpit or inguinal region with abdominal distension or obstruction, masses in the chest (causing difficulty in breathing, flushed face). They may also arise in brain or bone. There are two general categories: Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, based on the cell of origin. Both of these require a different set of chemotherapy drugs and schedule with or without radiation therapy depending on the type of lymphoma and spread of disease.

Neuroblastoma

A disease exclusive to infants and young children, neuroblastoma is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood. It arises from adrenal gland (situated above the kidneys) or anywhere along the neural (sympathetic) chain in the body. The child may have progressive abdominal distension, swelling of mass palpable in the abdomen, neck, back (usually noticed by mother or caregiver during bathing or while changing clothes). If the disease is widespread, there may be protrusion of eyes, painless bluish lump under the skin, breathing difficulty. Some children may have abnormal movements of eyes and limbs with difficulty in balance (opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia syndrome) or intractable diarrhea. Modalities of treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and bone marrow transplant at times), depending upon the extent and various other characteristics of the disease.

Wilms Tumor

The most common tumor of the kidney in children accounts for about 6% of all childhood tumors. The disease most often comes to attention when abdominal mass is noticed while bathing the child or an ultrasound of abdomen is done for some other purpose. There may be associated blood in urine, pain abdomen or high blood pressure. The treatment consists of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy (in selected cases).

Cancer is an unfortunate disease. But childhood cancer is curable. Early diagnosis and prompt appropriate treatment can give a child the best chance of cure.

Also read- Is blood cancer curable?

We, at Max Healthcare, believe that your child should get the best possible care with a highly qualified team of doctors and trained nurses in a professional safe environment.