Cancer is uncommon in children, but it may happen. The most common childhood cancer is Leukemia. If your child experiences warning signs such as unexplained weight loss, any suspicious lump in the body, or excessive bleeding or rash, take them to a pediatrician immediately for child cancer treatment.
Dr. Shazia Riaz is a pediatric hematologist & oncologist based in Lahore. She is a highly qualified pediatrician with diplomates from American Board of Oncology, Pediatrics and Hematology. She currently practices in Doctor’s Hospital, Lahore.
In this session with oladoc, she discusses cancer that develops in Children. She explains various types of cancer prevailing in children, particularly in Pakistan and how they are treated.
Q.1. What is the difference between cancer in children and cancer in adults?
Three are two major differences in the cancers of adult and children. The first is that childhood cancers are quite uncommon as compared to adult cancers. And the second difference is that child cancers are treatable and largely curable. So, if you find that your child is showing some chronic health concerns, take them to to a pediatrician or an oncologist immediately for proper diagnosis.
Q.2. What are the early signs of cancer in children?
Well, speaking in broad terms, childhood cancers can be divided into two broad groups; blood cancers and solid tumours. Blood cancers are commonly known as leukaemia. Symptoms of leukaemia include acute fever, face pallor and blue rashes on the skin. These signs indicate a major blood disorder.
Solid tumours, on the other hand, show their presence in the form of excessive breathing issues, chest heaviness, frequent headaches, stomach pain. The severity and the symptoms depend upon the location and the size of the tumour.
Q.3. What are the most common pediatric cancers?
The most common blood cancer is leukaemia. Other than that, lymphomas; Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are quite common as well.
In solid tumours, the most prevalent is the Wilm’s tumour which affects the kidneys. A brain tumour is also seen among children. All of these cancers are curable if diagnosed at an early stage.
Q.4. Is childhood cancer curable?
Well, as I mentioned before, childhood cancers are more likely to get cured as compared to blood cancers. All major leukaemia are curable with the survival rate being 90%.
Similarly, the curability rate of solid tumours is also 80% to 90%. Early diagnosis, however, is very important and affects the survival rate of the child.
Q.5. Is Chemotherapy safe for children?
Well, a lot of parents are indeed concerned about the safety of chemotherapy. Again, the process of giving chemotherapy to children is carefully studied science. I would like to mention that chemotherapy must only be done by a properly trained pediatric oncologist.
If you want to learn about childhood cancers, then watch the full interview. Also, take your child to a pediatrician, if your child experiences any warning signs.