Cancer in Children

Cancer in Children

The types of cancers that occur most often in children are various from those seen in adults. The most common cancers of children are:

  • Leukemia
  • Brain and spinal cord growths
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Wilms growth
  • Lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Bone cancer (consisting of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)

Other types of cancers are unusual in children, but they do happen sometimes. In very uncommon cases, children might even develop cancers that are far more typical in grownups.

As cancer cells grow, they demand increasingly more of the body’s nutrition. Cancer takes an individual’s strength, damages organs and bones, and damages the body’s defenses against other health problems.


Leukemias, which are cancers of the bone marrow and blood, are the most common childhood cancers. They represent about 30% of all cancers in children. The most typical types in children are intense lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and severe myelogenous leukemia (AML). These leukemias can cause bone and joint pain, fatigue, weak point, pale skin, bleeding or bruising, fever, weight-loss, and other symptoms. Severe leukemias can grow rapidly, so they have to be dealt with (generally with chemotherapy) as quickly as they are discovered.

Brain and spinal cord tumors

Brain and central nerve system tumors are the 2nd most typical cancers in children, making up about 26% of childhood cancers. There are numerous types of brain growths, and the treatment and outlook for each is different.

Most brain tumors in children begin in the lower parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum or brain stem. They can cause headaches, queasiness, vomiting, blurred or double vision, lightheadedness, seizures, difficulty walking or managing things, and other symptoms. Adults are more likely to establish growths in upper parts of the brain. Spine growths are less common than brain tumors in both children and adults.


Neuroblastoma begins in early forms of nerve cells discovered in an establishing embryo or fetus. About 6% of youth cancers are neuroblastomas. This kind of cancer develops in infants and young children. It is seldom discovered in children older than 10. The growth can begin anywhere however usually begins in the belly (abdomen) where it is seen as swelling. It can also cause bone pain and fever.

Wilms tumor

Wilms growth (also called nephroblastoma) starts in one, or seldom, both kidneys. It is most often found in children about 3 to 4 years old, and is uncommon in children older than age 6. It can appear as a swelling or lump in the belly (abdomen). In some cases the child might have other symptoms, like fever, pain, queasiness, or poor cravings. Wilms growth accounts for about 5% of youth cancers.


Lymphomas begin in body immune system cells called lymphocytes. They usually begin in lymph nodes and other lymph tissues, like the tonsils or thymus. These cancers can likewise affect the bone marrow and other organs. Symptoms depend upon where the cancer is and can include weight reduction, fever, sweats, exhaustion (fatigue), and swellings (swollen lymph nodes) under the skin in the neck, armpit, or groin.

The 2 main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma (in some cases called Hodgkin disease) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Both types occur in children and grownups.

Hodgkin lymphoma represent about 3% of childhood cancers. It is more typical, however, in early the adult years (age 15 to 40, usually people in their 20s) and late their adult years (after age 55). Hodgkin lymphoma is rare in children below 5 years of age. This kind of cancer is very comparable in children and grownups, consisting of which types of treatment work best.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma comprises about 5% of childhood cancers. It is more likely to happen in more youthful children than Hodgkin lymphoma, however it is still rare in children younger than 3. The most common types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children are various from those in adults. These cancers typically grow quickly and require extensive treatment, but they likewise tend to respond much better to treatment than the majority of non-Hodgkin lymphomas in adults.

Cancer in Children


Rhabdomyosarcoma begins in cells that normally turn into skeletal muscles. (These are the muscles that we manage to move parts of our body.) This kind of cancer can begin nearly any place in the body, consisting of the head and neck, groin, belly (abdominal area), hips, or in an arm or leg. It might cause pain, swelling (a lump), or both. This is the most typical kind of soft tissue sarcoma in children. It makes up about 3% of youth cancers.


Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the eye. It represents about 2% of childhood cancers. It typically happens in children around the age of 2, and is rarely found in children older than 6. Retinoblastomas are typically discovered because a parent or doctor notices a child’s eye looks uncommon. Usually when you shine a light in a child’s eye, the pupil (the dark spot in the center of the eye) looks red because of the blood in vessels in the back of the eye. In an eye with retinoblastoma, the pupil frequently looks white or pink. This white glare of the eye might be noticed after a flash picture is taken.

Bone cancers

Cancers that start in the bones (primary bone cancers) happen frequently in older children and teens, but they can establish at any age. They represent about 3% of childhood cancers.

Two main types of primary bone cancers occur in children:

Osteosarcoma is most common in teens, and normally establishes in areas where the bone is growing rapidly, such as near the ends of the long bones in the legs or arms. It often causes bone pain that becomes worse at night or with activity. It can likewise cause swelling in the area around the bone.

Ewing sarcoma is a less common kind of bone cancer, which can likewise cause bone pain and swelling. It is most often found in young teens. The most typical places for it to start are the pelvic (hip) bones, the chest wall (such as the ribs or shoulder blades), or in the middle of the long leg bones.

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