Health Female Adda
11 months ago
International Childhood Cancer Day 2018 — Cancer in children: 5 things you should know

Not many people know the statistics of cancer in children in India. According to Apollo Hospitals, it is estimated that over 50,000 new childhood cancer cases occur each year in India. And the fact that cancer in children is as common as any other type of cancer seen in adults is not known by many. Moreover, cancer in children is quite different from that in adults in many ways, says Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director & Senior Consultant Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Apollo Hospitals. Dr Anupan Sibal sheds light on some of the common facts about cancer in children (which makes it drastically different than in adults) that everyone should know about!

#1. Unlike, cancer seen in adults, only 3% of all cancers occur in children, which makes cancer in children and cancer in adults different. As the types of cancer in children are different, the treatment approach is also different. Moreover, it becomes difficult to know about cancer in children, which further decreases the chances fo diagnosis and the treatment.

#2. Secondly, cancer in children is fast growing, which indicates the need to diagnose and treat it at an early stage for a better outcome of the treatment. However, the good part about it that the cancers are very sensitive to chemotherapy treatment unlike in adults, which makes the treatment approach quite effective.

#3. Unlike adults in whom cancer is often lifestyle related, the real factors that cause cancer in children are still unclear. A number of factors such as environmental radiation, pesticides and viruses have been linked to cancer in children. Also, cancer in children has a genetic predisposition. You mat also like to read about if a breastfeeding mother has breast cancer, can she pass on the cancer to the child?

#4. As far as symptoms related to cancer in children are concerned, it does not indicate a single one but a series of common symptoms, says Dr Amita Mahajan, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Oncology, Apollo Hospitals Delhi. It can manifest as prolonged fever, paleness, bleeding or bruising, bone or joint pain, swelling in any part of the body, loss of weight or appetite, whitish discoloration of the eye, etc. If any child has any of these symptoms which fail to subside within 15 days or do not have a precise diagnosis, it can indicate risk of cancer.’ And if a doctor comes across such cases, then he should consider a diagnosis of cancer to know the exact cause. Also read about 10 common signs and symptoms of cancer.

#5. In the last few decades, cancer in children has transformed from a universally fatal condition to a disease that can be completely treated with children leading normal lives. The success rate seen in childhood cancer gave rise to the hope that cancer can be treated. Moreover, children tolerate treatment much better than adults and can withstand much harsher cancer treatments despite their tender age. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential for a higher success rate. However, only a few of these get diagnosed at the right time and receive appropriate treatment.

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