Treating Childhood Cancers
In India each year, 150 out of every one million children are diagnosed with cancer. Cancers affecting children are of a unique kind.
Leukemia is the cancer of bone marrow and blood. It is the most common childhood cancer and accounts for about 30 % of all cancers in children. Common symptoms are bone and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, pale skin, bleeding or bruising, fever, weigh loss amongst others.
Brain and central nervous system tumors account for about 26% of childhood cancers. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, trouble walking or handling objects are common symptoms of these cancers.
Neuroblastoma affects infants and young children and starts in the early forms of nerve cells in a developing embryo or fetus.
Wilmus tumor (nephroblastoma) starts in one or rarely both kidneys. It is most often found in children between 3 to 4 years of age.
Lymphomas starts in certain cells of the immune system called lymphocytes. They can cause weight loss, fever, sweating, tiredness and swollen lymph nodes under the skin in the neck, armpit, or groin.
Rhabdomyosarcoma starts in cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles. It accounts for about 3% of childhood cancers.
Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the eye. It accounts for about 2% of childhood cancers.
Primary bone cancers (cancers that start in the bones) occur most often in older children and teens, but they can develop at any age. They account for about 3% of childhood cancers.
Treatment procedure includes chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy or a combination of all.
In seeking treatment for a child diagnosed with cancer, do look for the following aspects while choosing the cancer care hospital:
Multidisciplinary medical team that works together to decide the best treatment option for the child.
Minimally invasive cancer surgery that reduces pain and shortens the child's stay in the hospital so that the child can return to daily routine soon.
Advanced radiation therapy that ensures minimal trauma due to precise targeting of the cancer.
Advanced pathological analysis of tumor to ensure the right dose of chemotherapy or radiation.
Blood bank standards that are of international quality.
Trained staff who are sensitive to caring for children with cancer and provide support to the family as well.