What You Should Know About Childhood Cancers
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is disconcerting for anyone but especially for children. Parents of children diagnosed with cancer often feel anxious, confused, and even angry. The first step of dealing with a child cancer diagnosis is by acquiring necessary information such as the right place for your child to get treatment, the types of treatment available, if the treatments are covered by the health insurance provider, and how long the treatment procedures take. Taking the time to research and learn the basics of childhood cancer is necessary and essential for every parent that wants to help their children get well.
Even though cancer death rates for children have declined, many children are still diagnosed with cancer every year. A study conducted by professionals in the health industry shows that an estimated 10,500 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2021. Most of these children are below 14 years old and around 10% of them lost their lives from the disease. Cancer death rates among children have declined b 65% from 1970 to 2016. The most common types of cancer that affect children include brain cancer, leukemias, lymphomas, and other central nervous system tumors and growths.
When it comes to the treatment of childhood cancers, there is a huge difference compared to adult cancers. Pediatric oncology involves the research and treatment of different types of cancers in children and young adults. Pediatric oncology has been on the forefront for the development of treatments for different types of childhood cancers.
Even though there are many types of cancer treatments available for children, the type of treatment that a diagnosed child gets depends on the type of cancer and its level of advancement. The most common treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplant, and immunotherapy.
Clinical trials are essential in the development and advancement of cancer treatments both for children and adults. These trials are constantly being conducted and are funded by major organizations in the health industry and governments across the world. New cancer treatments can only be made widely available after they are studied in specific clinical trials and found to be effective and safe in treating different types of cancers. These clinical trials are also necessary when it comes to comparing potential cancer therapies with the ones currently accepted standard therapies for effectiveness. Great progress has been made in developing more effective curative therapies for childhood cancers through clinical trials.
Just like any other type of treatment, cancer therapies and treatments have side effects. Cancer diagnosed children normally have to deal with specific issues during and after their cancer treatment therapy sessions. For instance, children respond differently to drugs that are meant to control cancer symptoms in adults. Also, children that receive intense treatments and therapies might end up losing body weight and feeling weak for a few months after completion. Cancer diagnosed children are treated in special children’s cancer centers or specific hospital units specializing in the treatment of child cancers. Taking care of a child diagnosed with cancer requires dedication, persistence, and a positive mindset for ultimate success.