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Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer


Definition:
Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Cancer cells have the ability to split rapidly and abnormally, and grow outside their normal boundaries and invade sticking together body parts and spread to other parts. There are 12 types of children's cancers. Leukemia and brain cancers are among the most common childhood cancers. The risk of cancers increases among infants while decreases as they grow. The cause of childhood cancer is still unknown.

Causes:
·    The causes are unknown, but some cases are associated with Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities.
·    Aging of parents may increase the risk of children cancer.
·    Viral infections such as liver cancer ( hepatitis B ), and HIV .
·    Exposure to ionizing radioactive materials in childhood may expose the child to cancer especially leukemia.
Symptoms:
·    Depend on the type of cancer, infected body organ and the stage of the disease.
·    Leukemia may lead to anemia and frequent infections, or may lead to abnormal bleeding and bruising.
·    Brain cancer may cause frequent headache and nausea upon waking up in the morning, as well as general weakness and vision problems.
·    Cancer of the lymphatic system causes swelling of the lymph glands, high temperature, extreme evening sweating.
Diagnosis:
·    Clinical examination of patient.
·    Laboratory tests to detect leukemia and examination of spinal cord fluid.
·    Ultrasound, CT, or MRI.
·    Biopsy of a sample of tumor to identify its type.
Risk Factors:
·    Genetic factors are among the main causes.
·    Children who have been exposed to a large dose of radiation are vulnerable to cancer, those who have been exposed to chemical substances or drugs and those with HIV disease, as there is a relation between leukemia immunodeficiency diseases, whether inherited or acquired. 
Complications:
Cancer may cause many complications including:
·    Proliferation of cancer cells in the body.
·    Non-response to treatment or recurrence of the disease.
Treatment:
Treatment options include:
·    Surgery to remove tumor.
·    Chemotherapy, chemical drugs to destroy cancer cells.
·    Radiation therapy, the use of high-energy rays such as x-rays.
·    Stem cell transplantation using bone marrow taken form the patient or a donor.
Prevention:
·     Avoiding exposure of the child to radiation intensively.
·    Boosting the child's immunity through healthy food.
·    If the child has genetic defect or syndrome, he should see a genetic pathologist periodically.

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