September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 1, 2021

When a new parent has a sick child, it can be a tough experience. When that child is diagnosed with cancer, it can be devastating.

According to cancer.org, after accidents, cancer is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14. It’s not all dire news though, even though cancer rates among children have been rising slightly in the past few decades, with continued major advances in treatment, 84% of children with cancer now survive five years or more.

Leukemias are the most common cancer in children, accounting for about 28% of cancer diagnoses. They can cause bone and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, pale skin, bleeding or bruising, fever, weight loss, and other symptoms. Most of these symptoms can also be attributed to non-cancer-related illnesses or injuries.

Because many common illnesses or bumps and bruises can mask cancer symptoms, cancer in children can be hard to recognize immediately. Regular doctor visits and screening can help detect potential problems before they become bigger issues.

It’s important to have your child checked by a doctor if they have any unusual signs or symptoms that do not go away, such as:

  • An unusual lump or swelling
  • Unexplained paleness and loss of energy
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Ongoing pain in one area of the body
  • Limping
  • Unexplained fever or illness that doesn’t go away
  • Frequent headaches, often with vomiting
  • Sudden eye or vision changes
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss

It’s important to note that many of these symptoms are much more likely not to be cancer-related but seeing a doctor can help treat whatever the problem is.

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Cancer Survival
Graphic couresty of cancer.org

The 5-year survival for childhood and adolescent cancer, 2010-2016, 0-14 years, by cancer types. Advances in technology have increased survival significantly.