Leukemia and eye cancer
The chief of the pediatric hematology and oncology department at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital explained that the most common types of childhood cancer include leukemia (blood cancer), brain cancer, lymphoma, and solid tumors such as neuroblastoma and brain tumors.
Dr. Hanna added that the peak of diagnosis ranges between the ages of three and five, but a child can have cancer even at birth.
fever and weight loss
The biggest challenges in diagnosing childhood cancer are that the symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, such as fever, weight loss, back pain or swollen lymph nodes.
The family should consult a general practitioner before being referred to a pediatric oncologist who can do simple blood cell count tests, X-rays, CT scans or MRIs.
Parents or family relatives can detect that their children have some cancers, such as retinoblastoma (eye cancer) by taking pictures and noticing white spots in the eye.
Dr. Hanna pointed out that diagnosing a child with cancer is not a death sentence; Medicine today is witnessing the development of tiered and affordable therapies, with the aim of expanding treatment options and reducing toxicity.
Hanna explained that there are many treatments available for children with cancer, in addition to the increased use of organ transplants to save lives when necessary.
Dr. Hanna identified four main types of pediatric cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and immunotherapy, noting that leukemia (blood cancer), which is the most common type of childhood cancer, needs only chemotherapy, which achieves excellent results.
Most childhood cancers can’t be prevented or treated with simple surgery, but there are advances in low-dose chemotherapy regimens, helping to achieve great results without major side effects.
Overall, Hanna emphasized that childhood cancer is often easier to treat than adults, who may also need surgery and radiotherapy.
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