To understand what causes childhood cancer and how is it treated, you must first understand the various types of cancerous cells which can form in the young. Of course, it's possible for any type of cancer to form in the young or old, but most of them are quite rare, especially if the child is properly nourished and living a healthy life. Brain tumor, lymphoma, retinoblastoma, leukemia, and bone cancer are the common forms found in children.
The most common of the above-mentioned cases of childhood cancer is that of leukemia, which occurs in the bone marrow and travels into the blood stream. It spreads quickly, and must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible for a fighting chance against the disease.
Symptoms which develop first in cases of childhood leukemia include unexplained drastic weight loss; lack of appetite, even when presented with favorite foods; fast and unexplained bruising on the skin; a pale complexion; and discomfort, stiffness, or pain in the joints and bones.
Treating Cancer in Children:
When considering what causes childhood cancer and how is it treated, you must first know what stage the cancer is in. If the cancer is just beginning and is in the early stages of growth, and moving slowly then chemotherapy is usually the first method of treatment. This is when a combination of medications is used to fight the disease and hopefully stop it from spreading or growing. Unfortunately, chemotherapy can make children feel very sick, lose their appetite, and lose more weight. The chemicals kill the cancer cells but they also weaken the body, and can cause shortness of breath, nausea, and some pain.
In cancers that are growing too quickly for chemotherapy, radiation may be used to stun the tumor or cancerous tissue and hopefully stop it from spreading. During radiation therapy, the rays aren't reported to be excessively painful, but they can cause sores to form in the mouth, and make it hard to speak or swallow if the rays are focused near the head.
Finally, surgery to remove the cancer is used when the cells have stopped growing to get rid of any remaining particles, or if the cancer won't stop spreading with other medications, and the tumor or infected cells must be removed to slow the progression and hopefully begin another form of medication to halt the continued growth.
Who Carries Out These Procedures:
It can be quite frightening to understand what causes childhood cancer and how is it treated, but many doctors have been trained to provide the best possible treatment. Your child will be treated by a specialized team of medical professionals who are not only trained to work with cancer, but to work with children. Pediatric oncologists and pediatric surgeons, along with a team of dedicated nurses and support personnel, will make sure that your little boy or girl receives the best care possible.
Childhood cancer, unlike adult cancers, usually doesn't form due to exposure to chemicals, toxins, and cigarette smoke, or overexposure to the sun and other elements, because their tissues haven't been exposed long enough to make a difference. Usually, unless there is an extreme case of radiation in the area, childhood cancer is genetic, and due to some anomaly in the DNA.
If you notice any of the above symptoms of childhood cancer, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.