International Childhood Cancer Day is a global campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer. The observation of the day also aims to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, survivors of the disease, and their families.
According to the International Childhood Cancer Day, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with some type of cancer, every year.
Since awareness is the first step towards reducing the incidences of the disease, and its prevention, here are a few facts about Childhood Cancer that you must know about.
What is considered childhood cancer? What is the age group that discriminates childhood cancer from adult cancer?
Cancer happening between ages 0-17 years are considered as childhood cancers and cancers in young adults. Childhood cancer actually refers to cancer between the age of 0-14.
What is the survival rate among childhood cancer patients?
The survival rates are very good. According to curesearch, in the last 40 years, the overall survival rate for children’s cancer has increased from 10 per cent, to nearly 90 per cent today.
However, for some specific cancers, the survival rate is low. According to data, 12 per cent of children who are diagnosed with cancer do not survive. About 60 per cent suffer from devastating late effects like secondary cancer, infertility, etc.
What are the common causes and risk factors of childhood cancer? What are some prevention methods?
Commonest factor when it comes to childhood cancer is genes. Effects of radiation on the genes, mutations, etc can cause childhood cancer. According to Cancer.org, lifestyle factors may also increase the risk of childhood cancer, but that happens over a period of time.
Childhood cancer is seldom preventable, given that all genetic factors cannot be controlled or prevented. It is important to make sure your child eats healthy, gets regular physical activity, and stays safe from second-hand smoke, radiation, and other environmental hazards.
Early diagnosis can also help in preventing complications and death due to childhood cancer.
Are there any specific symptoms or signs of childhood cancer that parents should watch out for?
Some of the most common symptoms of childhood cancer include – any lumps anywhere, abdominal fullness, paleness of skin, testicular swelling, shortness of breath, white eye reflex etc. should be brought to Doctor’s notice.
Which are the most common and most rare cancers among children?
Commonest cancer – Leukemias, Lymphomas, sarcomas, germ cell tumours. Epithelial GI cancers or epithelial cancers at other sites are uncommon.
Are children suffering from cancer subjected to discrimination in schools, creches, etc? How can the family deal with it better?
Awareness better these days and hence discrimination is not so evident. But still, a major issue in rural areas support groups help. Also educating society in general helps.