When it comes to childhood cancers, children and adolescents make up one-quarter of the patient population in the National Cancer Institute’s registry. Common pediatric malignancies, the most common include Burkitt lymphoma, soft tissue sarcomas, and Hodgkin lymphomas. In contrast, the most uncommon pediatric cancers are Wilms tumor and nephroblastoma, both of which have been observed at a national teaching hospital.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a disease that affects the white blood cells in the body. These cells are necessary to fight infection and protect the body from disease. People with ALL have too many immature white blood cells in their bone marrow, which crowds out the normal white blood cells. As a result, the body has a hard time-fighting infection. ALL also affects lymphocytes, which are responsible for the immune system’s ability to fight infections. As a result, these cells build up in the lymph nodes, spleen, and liver.
Children with childhood ALL may want to consider participating in a clinical trial. These studies can be complete before, during, or after treatment. In some cases, the patient may have to undergo follow-up tests. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common childhood malignancy and there are several treatment options available. Some of these treatments are standard and others are being tested in clinical trials.
Endocrine gland malignancy
Children with endocrine tumors can face many challenges during treatment. Surgical treatment should involve complete and quality removal of the tumor. Children should have an experienced surgeon for the procedure, as there are many risks, including not fully removing the tumor, assessing its spread, and injuring a child’s blood vessels. Some tumors contain blood clots in large veins.
While children with thyroid cancer are rare, thyroid carcinoma occurs when the cells of the thyroid gland become abnormal and out of control. Children with thyroid cancer are generally very young, as fewer than one in 100,000 are diagnose each year. Cancer typically begins in the teenage years and is the second most common cancer among adolescents ages 15 to 19 years old. Fortunately, the disease can be treat with surgery and chemotherapy.
The most common pediatric malignancies are brain tumors – close to 5,000 children are diagnose with these every year. Most of these tumors are benign, but some are dangerous and may affect a child’s functioning for years. A Connecticut teenager, Sofia, was diagnose with a malignant skull base tumor. Other surgeons declared the tumor inoperable, but her doctor was able to remove it using a transnasal endoscopic approach. A tumor of the brain can cause pressure in the skull and make it difficult for the child to move. This extra pressure is called intracranial pressure.
The symptoms of brain tumors vary depending on the location of the tumor and its size. The brain controls learning and memory, as well as the body’s muscles, organs, and blood vessels. Because young children don’t typically complain of symptoms, parents must rely on their observations to determine the presence of a brain tumor. Sometimes a child may exhibit a variety of symptoms that go unnoticed for months before a pediatrician will consider the tumor as a cause.