The most common types of childhood cancer in the world. Each year, approximately 400,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 are diagnosed with cancer. The most common types of childhood cancers include leukemia, brain cancer, lymphoma, and solid tumors, such as neuroblastoma and Wilms’ tumor. In high-income countries, where comprehensive services are generally available, more than 80% of children with cancer are cured, and in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), an estimated 15-45% are cured.
What is childhood cancer?
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Cancer is a general term for diseases caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Awareness and interest in adult cancers has grown tremendously over the past decades, but unfortunately, there is much less awareness and knowledge of childhood cancer. Did you know that 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer? Was he diagnosed with childhood cancer this year? And that more than 1,200 children ever die from childhood cancer?
The most common types of childhood cancer in the world
Unlike adult cancers, childhood cancers are not closely related to lifestyle choices or environmental exposure, and there are no screening mechanisms to enable early detection. Children are most commonly:
Leukemia affects cancers of the bone marrow and blood, and accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancers. The two types we hear about most are acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), both of which can grow rapidly and require immediate treatment.
Brain and central nervous system tumors
Brain tumors (and less common spinal cord tumors) make up about a quarter (26%) of all childhood cancers. There are different types of brain tumors, classified by where the tumor began, such as gliomas, astrocytomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors. Treatment and prognosis depend largely on the type and exact location of the tumor.
Lymphoma begins in the immune system and is likely to be found in the lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, or spleen. Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 3% of childhood cancers and is more common in young adults. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 5% % of childhood cancers Occurring in younger children (but rare in children under 3 years of age), lymphoma is generally considered a fast-growing form of cancer that requires immediate treatment.
Found primarily in infants and very young children, neuroblastoma makes up about 6% of childhood cancers. Although neuroblastoma can start anywhere, it is most common in the abdomen.
About 5% of childhood cancers, Wilms‘ tumor begin in one kidney (it can occur in both kidneys but this is rare, and is more common in children 3 to 4 years of age, and uncommon in children older than 6.
The most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children, this cancer grows in cells that develop into skeletal muscle and can be found anywhere in the body. It accounts for about 3% of childhood cancers.
Primary bone cancers begin in the bones, and are distinguished from metastatic bone cancer, which is cancer that started elsewhere but has spread to the bones. Primary bone cancers make up about 3% of childhood cancers. The most common types of bone cancer in children are osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma.
This cancer begins in the eye and is most common in children under 2 years of age (rarely in children older than 6 years). It makes up about 2% of childhood cancers.
What is the importance of childhood cancer awareness?
Although still considered “rare” by some, the fact is that childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death for children under 15 after accidental death, and it seems that most people know at least someone in their school or town who has been personally affected by cancer. Childhood. And while childhood cancer rates are increasing, research into developing new, less toxic treatment options for childhood cancer is not keeping pace; Of the more than 100 new cancer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 1990, only two have been developed specifically to treat childhood cancer. Many forms of childhood cancer are now considered ‘curable’, with long-term survival rates above 80 or even 90%, mortality rates still very high in some forms of childhood cancer, and most survivors having long-term health problems as a result of cancer treatment .