Paediatric cancers are the cancers that occur in children. Most cancers that occur in the paediatric age group are different from those seen in adults. Examples are neuroblastomas, retinoblastomas, leukemias, lymphomas, wilms tumour, and sarcomas. Kids usually respond better to treatment than adults do.
A diagnosis of cancer is upsetting at any age, but especially so when the patient is a minor. This may make the parents wonder if the child will ever lead a normal life again. How will all this affect our family? While only time will give the answer to these questions, here is some important information about the basics of childhood cancers.
Childhood cancers are relatively rare, and statistics suggest that only one child develops cancer globally out of 10,000 normal children. The initial diagnosis of cancer can be shocking and stressful for the child and his parents. These emotions are natural and understandable, however they may also be combined some misconceptions. Parents are sometimes too distressed to recognize that most childhood cancers are treatable and completely curable.
Childhood cancers can affect any body part, more commonly the bones, blood, and muscles. Leukemias, lymphomas, sarcomas, and embryonal cancers are some commonly seen childhood cancers. In the present era of advanced technology and due to the developments in the medical field, more than 80% of childhood cancers are completely treatable. Some childhood cancers like lymphoblastic leukaemia and Wilms Tumour have a more than 90% cure rate. Some cancers like Hodgkin's disease and germ cell tumours even have more than a 95% cure rate.
Children are not fully developed human beings, so when they have a serious illness, they have different demands than adults, and must be treated with utmost care. They need to be treated at a specialised medical centre by professionals trained to deal with such kinds of cases. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is the best paediatric cancer treatment hospital in Indore, where paediatric oncologists are responsible for treating childhood tumours like leukaemias, sarcomas, Wilms tumours, and brain and spinal cord tumours. With prompt and effective treatment plans, most children with cancer have successful outcomes of their treatment and lead a healthy life ahead.
Information and support are significant parts of the process that helps parents cope with the distressing situation. As parents, the more you know about the type of cancer your child is suffering from and its treatment options, the less confused and anxious you will feel. You can also participate in support group meetings where you get a chance to interact with other parents whose children are either being treated for cancer or have completed the treatment.
Paediatric cancers are broadly classified into primary and secondary cancers. Primary cancer is when cancer originates from the place where it is found. Secondary cancers metastasize to the location of cancer in a distant organ. Cancer cells usually spread from one organ to another either through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system.
The symptoms of many childhood cancers are similar to those of childhood injuries or illnesses, making them hard to recognise. However, if you notice any of the below symptoms, you must seek immediate medical care:
Paediatric oncologists diagnose childhood cancers by conducting a series of tests to identify the specific category of cancer. After a diagnosis is established, a series of other tests are performed to determine the cancer stage and the extent of its spread. Following are some of the most common investigations done:
Getting the diagnosis is very important to ensure the appropriate treatment of cancer. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the oncologist and other specialists hold in-depth counselling sessions with the child's parents. The team takes all the essential steps to ensure that the children are comfortable during the duration of the therapy.
As the treatment of childhood cancers is quite strong and sometimes aggressive, it may lead to some side effects. Some children may experience only some of these side effects. They include:
Please note that most of these side effects can be treated and your child will suffer from minimal discomfort. You must closely monitor your child at all times, and inform your doctor in case of any unusual symptoms or side effects. The paediatric oncology team at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore has the best paediatric oncologists in Indore. The team is always ready to help the small angels in their treatment journey to relieve all treatable symptoms and alleviate the anxiety of the parents.
Receiving a diagnosis of childhood cancer can be quite scary for the parents. Most of them often don’t know that their kid has the disease until it has progressed to an advanced stage, where the treatment options are limited. If you suspect your child has symptoms suggestive of childhood cancer, you must talk to a healthcare provider and seek medical attention. If you are located in Indore, you can visit the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore and get an appointment with an expert who will guide you to the next step.