Buddy Check9: Childhood Cancer

Sometimes we don't know how to do a self-check - but doing it can help you catch the cancer early.

DENVER - A diagnosis of cancer in a child affects more than a family, it affects a community.  Every year, thousands of children are diagnosed with some form of cancer.  This month Buddy Check9 focuses on childhood cancer to bring awareness of the types, signs, symptoms and resources.  
 
Cancers that develop in children can often be different from those found in adults. Childhood cancers are not necessarily linked to environmental or lifestyle risk factors. These cancers are often the result of DNA changes in the cells early in life.
 
 
Bone cancer (including Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma)
Retinoblastoma
Rhabdomyosarcoma
Lymphoma (including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
Wilms tumor
Neuroblastoma
Brain and spinal cord tumors
Leukemia
 
Cancers in children can be hard to recognize because early symptoms may be similar to symptoms caused by other common injuries or illnesses. It’s important to take a child to a physician if they have unusual symptoms or signs that do not go away. These symptoms may include:
 
An unusual lump or swelling
Unexplained paleness and loss of energy
Bruising easily
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
 
Statistics
 
About 10,300 children were diagnosed with cancer in the US in 2016, and approximately 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. More than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more thanks to major treatment advances in recent decades. Survival rates have increased since the mid-1970’s. The 5-year survival rates then were 58 percent.
 
Research
 
Cancer knows no age limits, and a cancer diagnosis in a child can be emotionally devastating. The American Cancer Society is committed to making advances in prevention and treatments that will help every child with cancer. 
 
Thank you to the Colorado Cancer Coalition for information that was used in this article. The Colorado Cancer Coalition is a statewide collaborative working to eliminate the burden of cancer in Colorado. Our task forces and members work together to improve the life of all Coloradans touched by cancer. To learn more go to http://www.coloradocancercoalition.org. The Colorado Cancer Coalition is a sponsored project of the Trailhead Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the public's health and the environment in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.
 
Thank you to the American Cancer Society for contributing information that was used in this article. For cancer information and resources, contact the American Cancer Society 24 hours a day at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. The Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. 
 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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