If your kid has recently been diagnosed with a blood cancer, the doctor in charge of their treatment has most likely already informed you of their diagnosis and attempted to explain how it will affect your child. Do not be hesitant to request a second meeting to talk about the diagnosis and treatment alternatives. People react differently to a diagnosis of children’s blood cancer, and there is no right or wrong way to react. Hearing that your child has been diagnosed with blood cancer is incredibly upsetting, and it can cause a wide range of strong emotional reactions, from denial to grief. Remember that you are very essential to your child, and that by remaining calm and encouraging him or her, you may assist him or her.
According to reliable studies, children under the age of 15 account for 1.6 to 4.8 percent of all cancer cases in India, and the total incidence of 38 to 124 per million children per year is lower than in the industrialized world. Cancer is a disease that affects people of all ages, including children. Cancer in children, on the other hand, is uncommon and treatable if identified early and treated correctly.
What is Blood Cancer?
Malignancies of the blood, bone marrow, or lymph nodes that disrupt normal blood cell formation or function are referred to as blood cancer. Leukemia is the most frequent type of blood cancer in children and teenagers (0-19 years old) and one of the main causes of death in this age group. There are three forms of leukemia in children: the common type, the rare type, and the rare type. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) are three types of leukemia (CML). Apart from leukemia, Lymphomas are also a type of blood cancer that can happen in children and youngsters. Hodgkin Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Burkitt Lymphoma, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, etc., are some of the most common ones.
Because each of these malignancies have a unique treatment regimen that may involve surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, an accurate diagnosis is critical when treating children with blood cancer.
What do the Symptoms of Blood Cancer Look Like in Children?
As a grown-up, you are deemed to be more aware of the changes you feel and find in your recent surroundings. Therefore, adults can easily recognize the signs and symptoms of cancer in their bodies and take action, but children find it difficult to recognize and understand any signs and symptoms that may occur as a result of everyday play accidents, bruises, or common infections. Cancer in children is difficult to diagnose because it is uncommon compared to adults.
Some of the symptoms that are common in children suffering from cancer:
Continued weight loss
Headaches with vomiting tendencies
Increased swelling belly
Lumps in the neck, underarms, groin (swollen lymph nodes)
Development of vision changes
What are the Facts on Childhood and Adolescent Blood Cancers?
Fact#1: Leukemia is the most frequent malignancy in children and teenagers under the age of 20, accounting for 25.1 percent of all cancer cases in this age range.
Fact#2: Every year, almost 25,000 children in India are diagnosed with cancer, with nearly 9,000 of them having leukemia.
Fact#3: Leukemia accounted for 40–50 percent of all juvenile malignancies, and lymphoma accounted for 15–20 percent.
Fact#4: Children and teenagers with leukemia have an excellent prognosis if they receive effective therapy. The majority of juvenile leukemias have extremely high remission rates, with some as high as 90 percent. Fact#5: Leukemias have a tendency to “grow” quickly. Leukemia cells multiply by dividing in half and producing additional leukemia cells. Fact#6: Chemotherapy is the backbone of treatment for pediatric blood cancer or Leukemia, but in high-risk instances or in children who are unable to receive chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant is the only option for survival. Fact#7: The incidence of leukemia and lymphoma was higher in boys than in girls. The average number of cases of leukemia in boys ranges from 1 to 239 in all regions, and 0–148 in girls. Fact#8: Identical twins are at a substantially higher danger. If one twin has leukemia as a youngster, the other twin has a 1 in 5 chance of having it as well. Fact#1: Fact#9:
The term “remission” refers to the absence of cancer cells in the body. The condition is usually cured in the majority of children.
A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure that replaces your healthy cells in your bone marrow. Replacement cells can come from either your own body or a donor.
Fact#5: Leukemias have a tendency to “grow” quickly. Leukemia cells multiply by dividing in half and producing additional leukemia cells.
Fact#6: Chemotherapy is the backbone of treatment for pediatric blood cancer or Leukemia, but in high-risk instances or in children who are unable to receive chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant is the only option for survival.
Fact#7: The incidence of leukemia and lymphoma was higher in boys than in girls. The average number of cases of leukemia in boys ranges from 1 to 239 in all regions, and 0–148 in girls.
Fact#8: Identical twins are at a substantially higher danger. If one twin has leukemia as a youngster, the other twin has a 1 in 5 chance of having it as well.
Fact#1: Fact#9:Only about 30 percent of individuals who require a blood stem cell transplant have a sibling match. The remaining 70 percent is contingent on finding a compatible unrelated donor.
To provide suitable therapy for the nature and extent of the condition, an accurate diagnosis is required. Chemotherapy, surgery,radiotherapy and/or stem-cell transplantation are common treatments. Children also require specific attention for their continuous physical and cognitive development, as well as their nutritional state, which necessitates the involvement of a multidisciplinary team.
Being a parent or a caregiver of a child who is suffering from such types of ailments, the responsibility to find the right help and advice falls on your shoulders. Apart from the treatment, the child will also need all the support from their families to enable an all round care for these children. And finding a doctor or onco-specialist who makes you comfortable with your prognosis, options and treatments is definitely a keeper.