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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cancers in Children

                                     Children Cancers 

Children do suffer from cancers but cancers are uncommon during childhood.In the developed countries where statistical data are more complete,cancers affect 120-160 per 1,000,000 children under the age of 15 years every year.approximately one in every 300-500 people will develop cancers before their 20th birthday.

Why do Children Get Cancers ?

     at least 95 per cent of children's cancers occurs spontaneously.Like adult cancers, it is not known why one person gets it and another dose not.some childhood cancers, however, maybe be due to infections passed from parent to child ( for example,infections from the Hepatitis B virus). Other causes range from genetics to radiation mishaps.

Are Cancers In Children Similar To Those in Adults ?

    No, Cancers in children are quite unique.Even for cancers of the same type, For example Non Hodgkin Lymphoma or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - the biological features and the responses to treatment are very different between children and adults.In genaral, The cure rates outcomes of childhood cancers are highly than those of adult cancers.

How are Cancers in Children Treated ?

After the diagnosis is certified and the cancer has been classified and staged, the doctor will decide what is the best treatment of combination of treatment that the child would require, The treatment options include surgery,chemotherapy,radiotherapy, and other biologic agents such as antibodies and vaccines.

What are the Outcomes of Treatment ?

Most childhood cancers are curable, and children with cancers can lead a normal childhood.Many children return to school life after the treatment. On the whole,70-75 % of children diagnosed to date are expected to be long-term survivors and thus cured - provided they are treated by experienced medical teams with supportive facilities.

What are some Children's Cancers ?

There are quite a few,but the most common ones are;

* Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia [ALL]

   this is the commonest type of cancer seen in children. Almost  30%  of childhood cancers are ALL. The affected child may have fever, Bruises ,tiring easily,and enlargement of the glands in the neck.Most children with ALL need chemotherapy only;some many require radiation treatment to the brain. On the whole, 75-80% of children can be cured after treatment.

* Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma [NHL]

   This is a cancer of the Lymphatic glands,The affected child may have fever,tired easily,and enlargement of the glands in the neck or inside the chest. Some children may complain of difficulty in breathing of abdominal pain.on the whole,over 80% of children can be cured with chemotherapy.Only a small proportion of children will need surgery or radiation treatment.

* Brain Tumours

   brain Tumours are the commonest form of solid cancer in children,accounting for 15-20% of the cases. The brain tumours form when cells in the brain or nervous system start growing abnormally and clump to form a tumour,which then disrupts normal brain functions. symptoms include headache,vision problems,vomiting and weakness of one side of the body, unsteadiness in walking and epilepsy. For the most common brain cancer,the affected child will need surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.Cure rates are between 69-90% when the tumour has not spread.

* Germ cell tumours 

   This is a  cancer of the tested in boys and ovaries in girls,The cancer may occur inside the abdomen, chest, neck or coccyx (tailbone) near the anus. Some cases need surgery,while others can be treated with chemotherapy,Nearly 75-90 per cent of patients are cured.

* Osteosarcoma [or Osteogenic Saracoma ]

   this is a cancer of the bones and commonly present as a swelling in the thigh or leg bones. Treatment consists of surgery and chemotherapy.About 60-70% of children can survive long-term after treatment when the cancer has not spread.