We can all agree that there is nothing more heartbreaking than watching a child suffer from cancer. The pain of the disease as well as the treatment can leave even the most hard hearted among us in tears. In this article we will tell you about the cancers that afflict young ones during the course of their childhood. These can be different from the ones that afflict grown ups. The areas affected are different from those of adult type cancers and their responses to treatment are also different. Plus there are many types of cancer and several subtypes too. The heartening fact is that there is major research going on and people are working hard to come up with the right treatment.
Here is a brief about the Most Common Cancer in Children:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the general form of childhood cancer. It is cancer that affects the bone marrow and the blood. In normal circumstances the bone marrow would make stem cells that on maturity become blood cells, When this type of cancer afflicts a child the stem cells become immature white blood cells (lymphoblasts) that do not mature and become normal blood cells. This prevents their ability to combat infection by keeping back germs and other bacteria
- Central nervous system (CNS) tumors are cancers that affect the brain stem and the brain. These are generally occurring solid tumors of childhood and have a high mortality rate among all the childhood cancers.
- Ewing sarcoma is a not so common type of tumor that affect bone and appears in children who are above 5 years of age.
- Hodgkin disease is a variety of lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymph nodes. Mostly found in teenagers it can also affect younger kids. The lymph system battles infections and is present all over the body. This disease can start and spread anywhere
- Myeloid leukemias occur more rarely and are quite tough to cure.
- Neuroblastoma is a cancer that affects the sympathetic nervous system. This is the message link between the brain and parts of the body. It can occur in the neck, abdomen or the pelvis. It is the most general type of cancer in infants and could start from birth itself. Normally the age it is averagely diagnosed is 2 and rarely occurs in kids over 10 years old
- Non-Hodgkins lymphomas (NHL) are cancers that occur in the cells of the immune system. As a matter of course the cells that are part of the immune system are produced in the bone marrow. These travel to the thymus gland, the lymph gland, the spleen, the tonsils and some parts of the intestinal tract. So this lymphoma can affect any of these parts.
- Osteogenic sarcoma (Osteosarcoma) is the bone tumor that is often found in teenagers and young adults. Often these tumor are found in the bigger bones of the leg and upper arm
- Rhabdomyosarcoma is most general of the sarcomas that occur in the soft tissues that are all over the body. These tumors are found in the cells of the muscle and are mostly found in kids under the age of 10 years. The more rare of these can be found in teenagers too.
- Wilms tumor can be held responsible for almost 90% of kidney tumors that are found in kids. Close to a 95% of kids affected by this disease have a chance of getting cured. The pathologist determines this by the pattern in the tumor cells. The remaining 5% are more resistant to treatment.
The other types of cancers that occur in childhood are not that rare and account of one third of the cancers found in kids and teenagers.