Superheroes don’t wear capes, they fight CANCER!
It is already September and we, at Credihealth, are celebrating Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with the rest of the world.
Cancer is a fatal illness that has been pacing ahead of medical science. So far researchers and professionals have not come about with a cure for cancer. This misfortune makes it all the more important to raise awareness of the different types of cancer, including childhood cancer.
The awareness about childhood cancer is lagging. While the recognition of this cancer is utterly important, not only for the affected child but also for the family. So taking this opportunity at hand, this week we shall be expanding on Childhood Cancer. Not only will we discuss this concept in detail, but we will also tell you what you, whether a parent or a non-parent, can do on your part.
Welcome to Part three of the exclusive Mother and Childcare series – Ladies and Babies. Read on to understand what is cancer in children?
What Is Childhood Cancer?
Cancer is an illness of the cells. In cancer, human cells continue to divide abnormally and result in tissue damage. When this illness affects infants and young children, it is termed as childhood cancer.
Cancer in children is not very common and needs special care with a multidisciplinary approach. There is a wide range of cancers that are common among children.
Types of cancers in children-
- Brain tumors
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Wilms’ tumor
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Bone tumors
- Ewings sarcoma
Most childhood cancers are treatable if detected at an early stage. However, in India, cancers are aligned with societal stigmas that result in a lack of apprehension.
- In India, nearly 3-5% of cancer cases are of childhood cancers
- Each year about 50,000 children are diagnosed with cancer
- Cancer is not infectious and does not spread on touching
- Cancer is the leading cause of death among children around the world
Why Children Get Cancer?
Cancer can affect a person at any age. It is a result of the genetic changes within a cell that turn abnormal and out of control.
Childhood cancer largely differs from adult cancers. The primary reason for cancer in kids is still not known, as lifestyle factors do not play a major role in the development of cancer.
In most cases, children have a predisposition to certain types of cancer. Genes can be stated as a cause of childhood cancer. However, evidence on the same is limited.
Parent Navigation – What should a parent do if their child has cancer?
Knowing a person has cancer can be overwhelming. And if it happens to be a small child who should be actively playing and rejoicing in babyhood, the emotions can be enormous.
But putting the pile of sentiments aside, timely action should be taken. Parenthood, anyway, is a big responsibility. The duties outstretch with a childhood cancer diagnosis.
Parents or guardians should first watch out for symptoms before evaluating the chances of cancers. The signs and symptoms of each type of cancer are different. Nonetheless, there are certain general symptoms of childhood cancer.
Common Symptoms Of Cancer In Children
- Skin paleness
- Fatigue and Weakness
- Recurrent infections
- Persistent Fever
- Unexplained blood in the urine or stool
- Easy bruising
- Pain in joints
- Lumps on any part of the body
- Behavioral changes
If you notice any of the above symptoms and if you are worried that your child may have cancer, consult a pediatric oncologist at the earliest.
If the diagnosis is positive, you may be flooded with emotions of guilt, anger, sadness or more. So whilst you care for the child, you must also care for yourself. You can expect lengthy appointments with a team of medical specialists. There will be numerous tests before settling upon a treatment plan.
As the treatment proceeds, you may also see changes in your child’s health. You must refrain from keeping any queries to yourself. Disclose all kinds of questions to the concerned doctor.
Childhood cancer may not be prevented but they can be treated. However, post-treatment cancer care in children is very important and long. You should prepare for follow-up visits and also expect some late-effects of the treatment.
Your medical team will guide you regarding care at home. You must ensure to follow their instructions properly to benefit from the treatment.
You must regularly talk to your child regarding their feelings and their health. Cancer can affect the mental and emotional health of a person. So seek and give support during this medical journey.
Apart from this, your family may face some practical issues while coping with the side and after-effects of the treatment.
Individual Responsibility – What Should Everyone Do Regarding Childhood Cancer?
Childhood cancers are not preventable. The high incidence of cancers in children is worrisome and calls for immediate action.
Awareness is the first step towards change. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, everyone is encouraged to use their respective platforms to talk about childhood cancer.
You can share this post with your colleagues, family, and friends.
The color of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is gold and since representation is of utmost importance, you can highlight this color and the reason behind it on your social media accounts.
Furthermore, you can participate in fundraising events at hospitals or non-profit organizations or make donations to help boost research.
Stay tuned with us for more updates on Ladies and Babies Section!
Read our previous article of Ladies and Babies series here: Ladies and Babies: Part 1 – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) & Ladies and Babies: Part 2 – Postpartum Depression
Visit an Experienced Pediatric Oncologist in India for any concern related to Childhood Cancer.
Pass this information and if you need more personalized guidance, contact to the best and experienced Pediatric Oncologist in India now.