8 Types of Cancer That Often Attack Children
Windowofworld.com – There are several types of cancer that often attack children. Cancer in children is often not detected early because children sometimes find it difficult to express complaints. Therefore, parents need to recognize what types of cancer often attack children, along with the symptoms.
Cancer is a dangerous disease that can affect anyone, including children. Cancer can even attack the fetus that is still in the womb.
Unlike cancer in adults which can be caused by various factors, such as certain diseases, unhealthy lifestyles, and environmental factors, cancer in children tends to be more caused by genetic disorders or heredity.
Types of Cancer that Often Attack Children and Symptoms
Most cases of cancer in children are only detected when they have entered the final or advanced stages. In fact, the chances of recovery will be higher if the cancer is detected early and treated early.
One of the reasons why cancer in children is often detected too late is due to lack of information and parents’ knowledge about cancer in children.
Therefore, it is important for parents to know several types of cancer that occur more often in children and their signs and symptoms. The following are some types of cancer that often attack children:
Leukemia or blood cancer is the type of cancer most experienced by children in various parts of the world, including Indonesia. Of all types of cancer that attack children, 28 percent are leukemia. The most common types of leukemia in children are acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia in children can be identified by the following symptoms:
- Often weak, tired quickly, and more fussy
- Lack of appetite
- Child’s weight is reduced drastically
- Easy bruising, nosebleeds, or gums often bleed
- Frequent illness or infection
- Prolonged fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Bone and joint pain
Retinoblastoma is a cancer that attacks the retina in the eye. This cancer is often found in children under 5 years old. In Indonesia, this cancer ranks second from the type of cancer that often attacks children after blood cancer.
One of the initial and characteristic symptoms of retinoblastoma is the appearance of “cat’s eye”, a condition when a child’s pupils appear shiny white when his eyes are exposed to light.
In addition, retinoblastoma also causes several other symptoms, such as red eyes and swelling that does not improve, squinting eyes, one or both of the child’s eyes are enlarged, or the child complains of blurring.
3. Brain cancer
Brain cancer is also included in one type of cancer that often attacks children. It is estimated that about 25% of cases of cancer in children are brain cancer. Symptoms of brain cancer in children can vary, depending on the size, location, and level of development of cancer cells or cancer stage.
Some brain cancer symptoms that often occur in children include recurring headaches, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, dizziness, convulsions, and weakness or paralysis in limbs.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the nerve tissue that often attacks children under 5 years old, especially boys. This rare cancer can spread rapidly to other organs, such as lymph nodes, bones, bone marrow, liver, and skin.
Symptoms of neuroblastoma can vary, depending on the affected body part. If it attacks the stomach area, symptoms can include abdominal pain, constipation, abdominal swelling, decreased appetite, and weight loss.
When neuroblastoma attacks a child’s spinal cord, this cancer can cause a child to experience limb weakness, numbness, or even paralysis.
If it appears in the chest, neuroblastoma can cause symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath accompanied by wheezing. Neuroblastoma that appears in the brain can cause symptoms in the form of visual disturbances, large or small pupillary eye, decreased eyelids, and headaches and seizures.
Lymphoma is another name for lymph node cancer. There are two types of lymphoma, namely Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Both of them often attack children, especially children over 5 years old.
In general, lymphomas are characterized by the appearance of lumps in several parts of the body, such as the neck, armpits, or groin due to swollen lymph nodes. Other symptoms can include fever, itching, shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, night sweats, and weight loss dramatically.
6. Bone cancer
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer in children that often occurs, especially in adolescence. Symptoms include bone pain at night or when on the move.
Over time, pain is accompanied by swelling in the area of the bone affected by the cancer and feels pain when touched, making it difficult for children to move. Osteosarcoma is also characterized by brittle bones that make children vulnerable to fractures for no apparent reason when on the move.
In addition to osterosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that is quite common in children is Ewing’s sarcoma. The symptoms of Ewing’s sarcoma in children are almost similar to osteosarcoma, which is high fever, weakness, fatigue, and the child’s weight is drastically reduced.
7. Nasopharyngeal cancer
Nasopharyngeal cancer in children is more common before teenage and rarely occurs in children under the age of 14 years.
Nasopharyngeal cancer in children can cause symptoms, such as the appearance of a lump in the neck due to swollen lymph nodes, persistent nasal congestion, frequent nosebleeds, buzzing ears, headaches, sore throats, and hearing loss or deafness in one ear.
8. Wilms Tumor
Wilms tumor or nephroblastoma is a type of kidney cancer that quite often attacks children aged 2-5 years, especially boys. Some of the symptoms of Wilms tumors are pain and swelling in the stomach, fever, nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, shortness of breath, and blood in the urine.
By recognizing the signs and symptoms of all types of cancer that often attack children, it is expected that cancer in children can be detected from an early stage, so that treatment can be done immediately and the chances of recovery of children are increasing.
If you see your child showing complaints that can lead to cancer symptoms, immediately take him to the doctor to undergo an examination. To diagnose cancer in children, the doctor will perform various examinations such as X-rays, blood tests, bone marrow aspirations, CT scans, MRI, ultrasound, and biopsy.
If the examination results show that the child has cancer, the doctor can provide treatment in accordance with the stage and type of cancer suffered by children, ranging from chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, to bone marrow transplantation. The earlier the cancer is treated, the greater the chance of recovery.