By Tehniyet Azam
Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease beyond infancy. It is estimated that in 2014 there were around 15,780 children from ages 0 to 19 who were diagnosed with a type of childhood cancer. The different types of cancers that have affected these children are leukemia, brain and other
central nervous system tumors, bone cancer and types of germ cell tumors.
The survival rate is increasing each day as medical technology advances in finding new treatment and ways to make the quality of life better for the child.
The causes for cancer can vary. A contributing factor to childhood cancer is genetic predisposition. Mutation of the genes is one of the major causes. For example a mutation of the gene RB1 can cause retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer. Due to genetic mutation(s), children who are born with Down
Syndrome have a more likely chance to get leukemia because of their genetic makeup. Environment can also contribute to childhood cancer; one factor being exposure to radioactive material or living in an area that has high radioactivity. Additionally exposure to pesticides can increase the likelihood of cancer. There are many causes of childhood cancer and reducing your child’s exposure to environmental harm could greatly reduce the chances of childhood cancer.
The treatment process for cancer is not easy, physically and emotionally. The child and the family goes through a lot when the child is being treated for the disease. Depending on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease there are treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, and in some cases, surgery. It is usually done in a hospital setting with the staff that are trained with the specific needs of a cancer patients. Children cancer treatment floors can have kids up to age 20. They treat children with all types of cancers. Sometimes the children becomes a part of the clinical trials that are done on a federal level. These clinical trials have to be approved by the federal authorities, like the National Institutes of Health.