7 Most Common Cancers Diagnosed in Children

7 Most Common Cancers Diagnosed in Children


7 Most Common Cancers Diagnosed in Children Cancer is never a nice subject, but it’s
particularly hard to deal with when it affects a child. Unfortunately, cancer does not spare young
people – in fact, the National Cancer Institute says that although cancer is rare in children
overall, more than 15,000-people in the U.S. aged 19-and younger are expected to be diagnosed
this year. There are some forms of cancer that seem to
favor children (although kids can get adult cancers in rare cases) and they can be very
aggressive. Like any cancer, finding it and starting a
treatment plan as soon as possible are the keys to recovery. Here are the seven most common cancers in
kids… 1. Leukemia There a variety of leukemias and they all
affect the blood or bone marrow, making them particularly difficult to contain. The American Cancer Society explains that
leukemia accounts for around 30-percent of all childhood cancers. Although leukemia in itself is fairly common,
the most common forms of the blood cancer are acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myelogenous
leukemia, which carry symptoms of joint pain, weakness, pale skin, bleeding, and more. These acute cancers can grow quickly, adds
the source. 2. Rhabdomyosarcoma Cancer.net notes this is a type of soft-tissue
sarcoma in children that begins in cells that are destined to become muscle tissue, developing
in the arms and legs (in about 15-percent of cases) and other body parts with voluntary
control. The source explains that about 40-percent
of cases in children are found in the head and neck, and even in the eye sockets. About 30-percent of the time it will occur
in the reproductive or urinary organs, it adds. Only about 350-children are diagnosed with
this form of cancer each year, with more of half of cases diagnosed in children under
10. 3. Wilms’ Tumor The Mayo Clinic says this is a rare kidney
cancer that mostly affects kids. It’s also called nephroblastoma in the medical
community, and most commonly is found in children that are only 3-to 4-years old, adds the source. The clinic said the cancer is often found
only in 1-kidney, though occasionally it can occur in both. While the outcome has been grim historically,
“advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of Wilms’ tumor have greatly improved the
outlook (prognosis) for children with this disease,” notes the site. 4. Neuroblastoma The Canadian Cancer Society says this childhood
cancer targets immature nerve cells in the sympathetic nervous system – in other words,
the part of the nervous system that triggers the “fight or flight” response in humans,
preparing a person to take action. The cells affected by this cancer are called
neuroblasts, and sometimes these cells can behave abnormally, leading to non-cancerous
tumors, explains the source. However, it can also lead to neuroblastoma
starting most often in the adrenal gland above the kidney in the abdomen, it adds. There’s also a rare version of a disease
related to neuroblasts called ganglioneuroblastoma, “that is somewhere between non-cancerous
and cancerous,” says the cancer society. 5. Lymphoma This can show up in 2-forms – Hodgkin and
non-Hodgkin – and it’s also a cancer that’s quite common in adults. Sources point out that the non-Hodgkin version
tends to strike younger children, while the Hodgkin version targets older children and
teenagers. The American Cancer Society says that non-Hodgkin
lymphoma in children can be marked by enlarged lymph nodes, a swollen abdomen, fever, weight
loss, fatigue and variety of other symptoms. It points out that these same symptoms could
point to a number of conditions, and to have them sorted out by a doctor as soon as you
can. 6. Retinoblastoma This cancer, as the name suggests, starts
in the retina – nerve tissue at the back of the eye where light is focused, making
sight possible. Cancer.net explains that it usually only occurs
in 1-eye, but in some particularly unlucky cases, it can affect both eyes. It’s not usually detected at birth, and
retinoblastoma can spread to the lymph nodes or the bone marrow. However, most children who are diagnosed before
the cancer spreads are cured, it notes. Preserving eyesight is a major goal of the
treatment, and it can show up as an enlarged pupil, a crossed eye, or different colored-irises,
explains the source. 7. Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors The American Cancer Society says these are
among the most common childhood cancers, and can take several forms. One category is called glioma, which is actually
a group of tumors that start in glial cells that provide support to neurons, and are essential
to nervous system function. Another type is called ependymomas, which
the cancer society says is responsible for about 5-percent of brain tumors in children. They start in the ependymal cells of the spinal
cord and can grow slowly or aggressively, but they stay contained within the brain and
spine, adds the source.

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