8 most important cancer symptoms in children

sad childThe symptoms of cancer, which is the second most common cause of death in children, can also be seen in many ordinary childhood diseases. Since this prevents the diagnosis and treatment of the disease in the early stages, it is necessary to be extremely careful about the symptoms. Assoc. Dr. Ahmet Demir gave information about childhood cancers and their symptoms.

The most common cancers in children and their symptoms

The most common cancers in children are; leukemias, brain tumors, lymphomas, kidney and adrenal gland tumors, soft tissue tumors, bone tumors, some organ tumors and retinoblastoma, that is eye tumors. While awareness of leukemias is higher in the society, awareness of solid tumors and lymphomas, which constitute 75% of all childhood tumors, is lower. Moreover, early diagnosis is very important in these tumors and therefore it is necessary to increase social awareness.

Watch out for these signs in children against cancer!

A doctor should be consulted as soon as possible when signs and symptoms that are warning signs of childhood cancers are encountered. The 8 warning signs of cancers in children can be listed as follows:

1) Easy formation of cavities, recurrent bleeding on the gums, nose and skin

2) Tiredness, exhaustion and weakness, the cause of which has not yet been determined

3) Headache and accompanied by vomiting in the morning without nausea

4) Unexplained and prolonged fever

5) Weight loss of more than 10% in the last six months without dieting

6) Swelling in the neck, abdomen or any part of the body

7) Long-lasting pain in bones and joints

The appearance of a cat’s-eye appearance called “leukocoria” in infants and children. Considering that almost every moment of the baby is photographed today, early diagnosis of retinoblastoma, an eye tumor, may be easier. If the pupil of the baby is white in the photographs, this situation should be taken seriously and should be investigated.

Do not confuse the symptoms of cancer with the symptoms of childhood diseases

The point to be noted here is that some symptoms and signs seen in children should not be confused with the symptoms of common childhood diseases. For example; The appearance of glands on the neck is often a sign of upper respiratory tract infection. However, if it does not resolve within a reasonable time or does not respond to antibiotics, this picture may also indicate leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, thyroid cancer, or soft tissue tumor. While fever is mostly due to infections in children, it can also occur due to leukemia, lymphoma, Ewing’s sarcoma or neuroblastoma, depending on its course. Another common symptom that is confused with the symptoms of ordinary pediatric diseases is bone pain. Although these pains are mostly seen as growing pains, they can also be caused by bone tumor, leukemia, lymphoma or neuroblastoma depending on their characteristics. The most important point here is to detect the unusual features of these common symptoms and start the treatment on time.

Pay attention to headaches and stomach bloating, which are signs of cancer in children

Another common symptom of childhood cancers is headaches. Headaches that are recurrent, occur in the lying position in the morning, gradually increase in severity and may awaken from sleep indicate the presence of a tumor. Pain in the abdomen with swelling, fever, inability to go to the toilet, bloody urine, veins on the abdominal skin can be signs of different intra-abdominal tumors depending on the age of the child. Children should be observed for abdominal swelling while bathing and dressing, and if any hardness is felt while touching the abdominal region, a physician should be consulted immediately.

A pediatric oncologist should be consulted without delay.

Symptoms and signs of cancer in children can also be seen in many ordinary childhood diseases. Therefore, it should not be approached with immediate concern. However, in case of unusual symptoms, a pediatric oncologist should be consulted. Early diagnosis of the disease will enable it to be treated in a shorter time and successfully. Childhood cancers are the beginning of a long-term process for the family and the child from the moment they are diagnosed. This process becomes more successful and easier to manage in a full-fledged oncology center, thanks to the collaboration of experienced physicians, psychologists, social development specialists and other pediatric branches.

Associate Professor, Memorial Ankara Hospital, Department of Pediatric Oncology. Dr. Ahmet Demir




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