Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Differentiating Childhood Cancer From Adult Cancer

All forms of cancer, whether that of an adult or a child, share the same common denominator: the disease starts from uncommon cell growth resulting to abnormal shapes or sizes that ruin neighboring cells and eventually spread to the tissues and organs of the body. For children, developing cancer causes the destruction of their bones and organs while weakening them on the whole. This weakness translates to a frangible immune system, making them susceptible to infections and other illnesses.

Statistics shows that in America alone, 14 out of 100,000 children get diagnosed with cancer annually. Common cancers that strike children are brain cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia. Compared to adults, cancers among children are not often caused by exposure to environmental hazards and harmful health habits like smoking. Although rare, children born with genetic conditions like Down Syndrome have a higher risk of getting cancer. Also, those who had undergone cancer treatments due to a previously diagnosed cancer condition have increased chances. But by and large, most childhood cancers strike randomly, developing from non-hereditary changes in their developing cells' genes. Hence, it's difficult to exercise early prevention since it can't be predicted whether a child is susceptible to cancer or not.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The After Effects of Surviving Pediatric Brain Tumor

Kids who survived brain tumor after undergoing cancer treatments face the challenge of “late effects.” Technically, these are the after effects of having had cancer, which surface after the treatments have ceased. For those who have survived brain tumors as a child, the late effects could affect their mental and physical growth. These could come in the form of a slowed down cognitive function, growth anomalies, hormone-associated deficiencies, and auditory or visual problems. Apart from these, however, a child who has had cancer and survived remains at risk of developing cancer either as another brain tumor or in other organs of his body.

If your child is a brain tumor survivor, being attentive to his overall welfare could alert you of any unlikely development that could take place. Be especially vigilant when the time comes for your child to resume his normal way of life. Before hand, consult with your doctor regarding the important measures needed by your child during this phase of transition. Discussing your child's condition with his teachers is also imperative. Their cooperation is vital in helping ensure that your child has the necessary accommodations like shortened schedules or longer rest periods in this crucial period.