Cancer in a child: symptoms and treatment. Why do children suffer from cancer? Children's Cancer Center

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When asked why adults are ill with cancer, there are answers. For example, improper nutrition for a long time, bad habits, negative impact of the environment and heredity. When asked why children suffer from cancer, scientists and doctors are still looking for an answer. The two mentioned causes most often affect the development of the disease in toddlers. This is ecology and heredity. What else causes cancer in a child? About what kinds of diseases occur in children, about the causes, symptoms of diseases, diagnosis and modern methods of treatment - more on this later in the article. So, in order.

Causes of cancer in children. What kind?

Environmental Impact and heredity. These two factors, which most often affect the development of cancer in children, and highlight the scientists. What does it mean?

On how well the health of the parents, will depend on the health of the unborn child. The statistics are inexorable. Children born 25-30 years ago were stronger than the current generation. This affects, first of all, the way of life of parents.

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The health of a child depends on parents

Doctors advise parents when planning pregnancy to abandon bad habits and strengthen the body. In addition to addiction to nicotine and alcohol, there are factors that have a direct effect on children:

cancer in the child

- maternal malnutrition during pregnancy;

- work in harmful production during child bearing;

- the impact of ecology;

- taking medications;

- radioactive radiation;

- previous abortions;

- premature delivery;

- absence of breastfeeding.

The causes of development of oncology in children can also include the presence of infections and viruses in the blood of a future mother. The age of a woman also matters. The younger the future mother, the stronger the baby. Conversely, the older a woman gives birth, the higher the chances of developing a cancer in a child. The same can be said about men. The addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and in some cases to narcotic substances, will affect the future generation. And the age of the future father, as well as the mother, matters.

Ecology and genetic mutations

The environment in which the baby lives can not be ignored. Poor environmental conditions or living conditions may cause cancer in a child. In turn, an unfavorable environment can contribute to a genetic mutation. She will provoke cancer. At present, the state of water, air, soil leaves much to be desired. Air in metropolitan areas is polluted by industrial production, exhaust gases. The soil is prone to contamination with heavy metals. In some regions, people live in houses built using radioactive materials.

And that's not all. There are other reasons for the development of oncology in children, which can also be attributed to external factors of exposure:

- long-term use of medications;

- sunburn;

- viral infections;

- secondhand smoke;

- stressful situations.

Modern practices abroad

Important point. Modern genetics allows to determine the presence of mutations, hereditary pathologies, which can lead to the development of cancer in the child. What does it mean? In many Western countries, a method of genetic testing of couples who want to create a family is widespread. But even this method does not give one hundred percent certainty whether the disease will manifest itself or not.

Symptoms of oncology in children: what should I look for parents and doctors

What should I do? What are the symptoms of cancer in children, and how are they manifested? Doctors speak about onkostorozhennosti. This means that pediatricians and parents should be aware of simple symptoms that may be harbingers of a serious illness. They must be careful.

cancer tests

Often happens that the first signs of cancer in children are masked for common diseases. There are many such cases. If the disease does not lend itself to traditional methods of treatment and proceeds atypically - this is an occasion to turn to the specialized specialists. Those, in turn, will be sent to do tests for cancer. Dislike of parents visiting polyclinics and standing in line for an appointment with a doctor often leads to big problems. Sometimes mothers do not pay proper attention to anxiety symptoms, taking them for fatigue, fatigue, the usual indigestion of the stomach or a cold that does not last long.

Children's cancer is curable. But under the condition of timely application for medical help. The chances of a successful cure increase with the diagnosis of cancer in the child at the first stage. If there is an oncological disease at the third or fourth stage, the possibility of recovery is very small. Be carefull. Knowledge of the symptoms of the development of cancer will allow to diagnose the disease at an early stage and use sparing methods of treatment, will give hope for a full recovery.

Early development of oncology and symptoms of

So, more. Headaches and vomiting - in 80% of cases it is a tumor of the central nervous system.

Change in gait, impaired coordination, back strain? The cause may be a tumor of the brain or spinal cord.

Institute of Oncology im Herzen

What can a sharp decrease in vision mean? About a critical symptom developing due to a brain tumor.

Fatigue, lethargy, apathy, loss of appetite and weight loss, high fever, vomiting, swelling of the lymph nodes. .. These are possible symptoms of blood cancer in children.

Facial swelling, weakness, fever, sweating, pallor are signs of a malignant tumor of the kidneys, neuroblastoma. Pain in the eye, the appearance of strabismus - symptoms of retinoblastoma.

Diagnosis: by what tests can cancer be diagnosed in children?

It is more difficult to diagnose a child's illnesses than an adult. Symptoms most often masquerade as other, less dangerous ailments. Sometimes the disease occurs completely without any signs, and is detected by accident, with a general examination. Also, the diagnosis is complicated by the fact that the child is not always able to correctly formulate a complaint - what, where and how much it hurts. Most often malignant tumors in children are found at the stage at which anatomophysiological visible disturbances occur.


For the diagnosis of cancer in children, all research methods that are available in modern medicine are used. For example:

- general and special blood tests;

- general analysis of urine;

- X-ray;

- ultrasound examination;

- magnetic resonance imaging / computed tomography;

- puncture;

- radioisotope scanning.

To track genetic mutations that cause cancer, a molecular biological study of DNA and RNA is used.

Pediatric oncology: classification of cancer in a child

The classification of oncological diseases in children distinguishes three types of cancer:

1. Embryonic.

2. Juvenile.

3. Tumors of an adult type.

Embryonic tumors are a consequence of pathology in the embryonic cells. In this case, the tissues of the formations are histologically similar to the tissues of the fetus or embryo. These include blastoma tumors: retinoblastoma, neuroblastoma, hepablastoma, nephroblastoma

Juvenile tumors. They are subject to children and adolescents. Tumors arise as a result of the transformation of a healthy or partially altered cell into a cancerous one. The process, during which healthy cells acquire the properties of malignant, is called malignancy. This can be affected by both fully healthy cells, and partially changed, not showing malignancies - such as polyps, stomach ulcers. Juvenile tumors include carcinomas, sarcomas, lymphomas, Hodgkin's disease.

Tumors of an adult type - a type of formation, which in infants is very rare. These include some types of carcinoma, neurinoma, skin cancer in children. But they are treated with great difficulty.

Oncology in children - types of diseases, statistics

The species that is most common among children is leukemia. This name combines the cancer of the brain and blood. According to statistics, the proportion of blood cancer in pediatric oncology is 30%.As you can see, this is a considerable percentage. Common symptoms of blood cancer in children - fatigue, weakness, fever, weight loss, joint pain.

The brain tumor ranks second in the incidence of diseases.27% accounted for this disease. Brain cancer in children often manifests itself before the age of 3 years. There is a violation of embryo development in the prenatal period. The reasons may be:

blood cancer symptoms in children

- a woman's illness during pregnancy;

- bad habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol;

- complications in the fetal fetus or during childbirth.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer that affects only children. The disease develops in the neural cells of the fetus. It occurs in newborns and infants, less often in older children. Is 7% of all cases of cancer.

An affliction that affects one, less often both kidneys - Wilms tumor. This disease affects children under the age of 3 years. Often such a tumor is diagnosed at a stage when it manifests as a swelling of the abdomen. Wilms' tumor accounts for 5% of all such diseases.

Lymphoma is an oncological disease affecting the lymphatic system. This cancer "attacks" on the lymph nodes, bone marrow. Symptoms of the disease are manifested in tumors of lymph nodes, fever, weakness, sweating, weight loss. This disease accounts for 4% of all cancers.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer of the muscle tissue. Among soft tissue sarcomas this species is the most common. It is 3% of the total number of cancers in children.

Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer. It occurs in children under 2 years of age. The disease can be detected by parents or an ophthalmologist due to one distinctive feature of the manifestation of the disease. A healthy pupil is highlighted in red when illuminated. With this disease the pupil is cloudy, white or pink. Parents can see the "defect" in the photo. The share of this disease is 3%.

Bone cancer is a malignant tumor of bones, osteosarcoma or Ewing's sarcoma. This disease affects people aged 15 to 19 years.

Osteosarcoma affects joints in places where bone tissue grows fastest. Symptoms manifest themselves in soreness of the joints, which intensify at night or during active movements, tumors of the lesion site.

Ewing's sarcoma, unlike osteosarcoma, is less common, it affects the pelvic bone, chest, lower limbs. Osteosarcoma accounts for 3%, and on Ewing sarcoma - 1% of all childhood diseases.

signs of cancer in children

Lung cancer in children is a type of oncology, which is rare. The reason for this disease is often parents - heavy smokers. Passive smoking is one of the causes of the disease. Also, lung cancer can provoke a mother's smoking during pregnancy and lactation. Symptoms of the disease are very similar to those of bronchitis, asthma, allergies, pneumonia. Because of this, cancer is detected in neglected form. Parents and the doctor should be wary of the manifestation of such symptoms as:

- loss of appetite;

- fast fatigue;

- frequent cough or strong cough with phlegm;

- severe headaches;

- swelling in the neck, face;

- shortness of breath.

Families who have had cancer, you need to be on your guard, not to miss the initial manifestations of the disease. Early diagnosis of any illness is the key to successful treatment.

Methods of treatment of cancer in children

Treatment of cancer in adolescents and toddlers occurs in special clinics and children's oncology centers. The choice of the method is influenced mainly by the type of disease and the stage of the disease. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy. In some cases, surgical intervention is used. The most common combination therapy is used.

A feature of child cancer is its rapid development along with a growing body. At the same time, this is also his weak point. The majority of chemotherapy drugs in therapy affects fast-growing cancer cells. Unlike an adult, the child's organism is more quickly and better restored after chemotherapy. This makes it possible to use intensive methods of treatment, but there is a high probability of side effects. Therefore, the oncologist must compare the need of the sick child and the maximum dose of exposure, at the same time - the most sparing, which will minimize the impact of negative consequences.

The second place in the application is radiation therapy. Radiotherapy is used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. With the help of directional radiation, doctors are trying to reduce the size of the tumor. This facilitates its subsequent removal. Sometimes only radiotherapy is used, without subsequent surgery.

New methods are widely used. Malotravmaticheskie surgical interventions, for example, selective blockage of blood vessels( embolization), feeding the tumor. This leads to a significant decrease. Other methods are also used:

- cryotherapy;

- hyperthermia;

- laser therapy.

causes of cancer in children

In some cases, stem cell therapy is used. And also hemocomponent therapy.

Children's Center and the Institute. PA Herzen,

Institute of Oncology, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. PA Herzen is one of the oldest centers in Russia for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer tumors. It was founded in 1903.At present, this institute of oncology is one of the largest state institutions of this profile. He is also widely known in the country and abroad.

The children's oncology center, organized on the basis of the institute, conducts successful treatment of cancer diseases. The institution, equipped with the latest technology, uses advanced technology to combat this difficult disease.

The Institute of Oncology. Herzen developed a technique for combined treatment of oncological diseases, the method of individual prediction of the reaction of cancer tumors to therapy, work is underway to create the newest special preparations. Widely used organ-preserving, functionally sparing operations. This can significantly increase the life expectancy of cancer patients.

In the center you can undergo a comprehensive diagnostic examination, get expert advice. If necessary, they will conduct highly qualified treatment of malignant tumors with the help of modern techniques and the latest equipment.

A small conclusion

Now you know, for what reasons can a child develop a disease like cancer. As you can see, there are many of them. We also examined the symptoms of such ailments. In addition, the article describes the methods of their treatment. The main thing is to cure the child - to conduct an early diagnosis, to choose the right treatment.