The devastating effect a terminal disease can have on children and their families are unfathomable. It is indeed a painful situation; however, understanding how to cope with it can be quite comforting especially if it is your kid that has been affected.
It is always helpful to be educated on the subject, even if your child is diagnosed or not diagnosed with the deadly disease.
What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a word that strikes terror in most people, and it can strike ANYONE, regardless of social status, upbringing, geographical or physiological factors. Cancer usually begins in the cells of your child’s body.
- While there are new cells that form and replace the old one, there are times when this biological process goes haywire.
- Sometimes, new cells form when you do not really need them while old cells that should die, do not.
However, it should be noted that cancer in children usually occurs early and can be cured with a high rate of success.
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Types Of Childhood Cancer:
There are usually three types of cancer that your child could be most susceptible to:
Cancer of the bones, tissues or organs, commonly referred to as a solid tumor. It can best be described as a lump of sick cells that are found merged together.
- These tumors can develop in quite a few areas of the body, including the liver, bones, kidneys and even the brain.
- Therefore, the ‘sick’ cells trump the healthy ones.
Types Of Sarcomas:
- Ewing Sarcoma
- Wilms Tumors
Cancer of the blood, Leukemia is common among children and is the cancer of the white blood cells.
- These white blood cells usually form in the bone marrow which aids in the manufacture of red blood cells (carries oxygen and nutrients), white blood cells (fights germs and infections) as well as platelets (prevents bleeding).
- Leukemia cells are immune blood cells that do not function properly and prevent the healthy blood cells from working properly.
Types Of Leukemia:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Acute myeloid leukemia
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It is cancer of the immune system. The body has its own defense mechanism, called the all-mighty immune system, Lymphoma affects this very system.
- The immune system wields its power and destroys unhealthy cells in your child’s body.
- It replaces unhealthy cells with fighter cells known as lymphocytes, in lymphoid tissues in your kid’s body.
- When the sick cells are unable to function properly and crowd out the healthy cells in immune system, your kid will develop Lymphoma or cancer of the immune system.
Types Of Lymphoma:
- Hodgkin disease
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Symptoms of Cancer in Children:
How do you figure out if your child has been hit by cancer? Here are some symptoms to watch out for. Remember, an early diagnosis increases the chances of your kid being cured. Some common symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss which may continue for a prolonged period of time.
- Headaches coupled with early morning nausea.
- Swelling or persistent pain in the joints, bones, legs or even the back.
- Development of a mass or lump in the abdomen, pelvis, neck, chest or even the armpits.
- Increased or excessive bruising, bleeding, development of a nasty rash.
- Frequent and persistent infections.
- Whitish development behind the pupil.
- Vomiting without nausea.
- Tiredness or paleness that is noticeable.
- Eye/vision changes that occur suddenly and persist for a period of time.
- Fevers that recur or persist during a period of time without a definite origin.
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