Kids Safety Network

Top 5 Pediatric Cancers: The Warning Signs

Lifestyle or environmental risk factors do not play a role in the types of cancers that develop in children, like those that develop in adults. It is usually the result of DNA changes in cells which take place very early in life.

More than 80% of children with cancer now survive five years or more and this is due to advances to cancer treatment.

Some children have a much higher chance of developing a specific type of cancer because of certain gene changes which they inherit from a parent. These children may need regular medical check-ups that include special tests to look out for early signs of cancer.

What are the most common cancers in kids and what are the warning signs?

1. Brain tumours

There are many types of brain tumours and the treatment and outlook for each type is different. Most brain tumours in children start in the lower parts of the brain, such as the brain stem. Although brain tumours are typically different in adults, many of the symptoms remain the same.

Symptoms include:

2. Acute Lymphoblastiv Leukaemia (ALL)

The most common childhood cancer which typically occurs between the ages of two and four is more common in males than females. Leukemia begins in bone marrow and spreads to the bloodstream and can then spread to the organs.

Symptoms of leukaemia include:

 3. Wilms Tumor

Wilms Tumor starts in the kidneys. It is the most common type of pediatric kidney cancer. It usually only forms in one kidney, but in rare cases both. It is usually found in children between the ages of three to four. In the US, there are approximately 500 new cases a year and about 9 out of 10 children are cured.

Symptoms of Wilms Tumor include:

4. Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma arises from immature nerve cells in young children and even infants. Primarily found in children younger than five, this disease often begins in the adrenal glands and makes up seven percent of childhood cancers in the US. It is more common in males than females, and only one to two percent of children with this disease have a family history of Neuroblastoma.

The warning signs of this type of cancer include:

 5. Lymphoma

Lymphoma starts in certain cells of the immune system which is called lymphocytes. These cancers affect lymph nodes and other lymph tissues, like the tonsils or thymus. They can also affect the bone marrow and other organs, and can cause different symptoms depending on where the cancer is growing.

These symptoms include:

If you think your child might be experiencing potential warning signs of cancer, make an appointment with the child’s pediatrician.

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