International Childhood Cancer Day 2019: Top Facts about Cancer in Children
Childhood (Photo Credits: Max Pixel)

Cancer is a scary word, especially for parents who may find their world come crashing down when their children are detected with the illness. Childhood cancer refers to cancers in children below the age of 18. Since ageing is one of the biggest risk factors of cancers, childhood paediatric cancer is quite uncommon in children. Despite which, 300,000 children are diagnosed with the disease every year. According to WHO, proper and timely medical care will increase the survival rates significantly but many kids in lower and middle-income families do not receive the right treatment. To improve global response and children’s chances of survival, WHO observes International Childhood Cancer Day every February 15. On this occasion, let’s understand the crucial facts about cancer in children.

Less than 1% of all Cancers

Cancer is quite rare in kids. Childhood cancers make up less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed worldwide. One in 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer. Viral Video of a 5-Year-Old Dancing Through His Cancer Treatment on Michael Jackson Numbers Is Winning Hearts on the Internet.

80% Survival Rate

The five-year survival rate of childhood cancers today is 80 percent, a big leap from 58 percent in the mid-70s.

Commonest Cancers

The pattern of cancer in children is different from those in adults. A third of all cancers in children in leukaemia. Other common cancers in children include tumours of the central nervous system, neuroblastoma, nephroblastoma, medulloblastoma and retinoblastoma. Reduced Cancer Risk and Longer Life! Health Benefits of Motherhood You Didn't Know About.

Uncommon Cancers in Children

While leukaemia is the commonest cancer in children, cancers of the breast, lung, colon or rectum are very rare in children. Did You Know That These Therapies Can Make Cancer Cure Possible?

Very Few Risks Identified

Till date, only a few factors have been identified as things that increase risks of childhood cancer. Radiation; hormone diethylstilbestrol, which is had by mothers during pregnancy; genetic factors; and viruses such as Epstein-Barr, hepatitis B, Human Herpes and HIV.

Late Detection of Symptoms

Most symptoms of cancer in children are non-specific, which means they can delay detection. Usually, children in high-income countries, who receive constant medical care, have a high chance of being diagnosed early. This improves their survival chances. The same cannot be said about children in low-income countries.

Cancers in Children Come with Consequences

Surviving cancer in childhood can come with consequences in later life. Late effects of cancer in children, especially its treatment, appear after years. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can affect the cognitive abilities, vision, hearing, endocrine problems, muscle and bone problems and heart abnormalities in the future.