The total incidence of malignant tumors in children is relatively small and is approximately 15 cases per 100,000 children. This means that cancer during childhood is at risk of one child in 450, while in adults this figure is ten times higher. Among the total number of patients with malignant neoplasms in children under 15 years constitute less than 2%. However, today annually 4,5 – 6,5 thousand children with malignant tumors. According to statistics from the world health organization, cancer is the second most frequent cause of mortality in children after violent death (accidents, homicides, suicides).
Fortunately, more than 70-80% of childhood cancer is curable. It is related to physiology and histology occurring in childhood tumors.
Causes of cancer in children
The cause of any cancer is a genetic mutation in one of the cells, which leads to uncontrolled growth and proliferation of tumor tissue. However, if an adult, we can identify a number of risk factors that can lead to such mutations, in the case of children, the cause of cancer are small genetic abnormalities passed to him by his parents. Such anomalies are most of us, not all of them lead to the development of tumors. Risk factors acting on the child (radiation, Smoking, unfavorable environmental conditions) do not have such great importance.
It should be remembered that many genetic diseases such as down syndrome or syndrome Kleinfelter, Fanconi anemia is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer.
Classification of cancer
Most often, children get cancer blood-forming organs (leukemia, malignant lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease) – 70%. These tumors are called hematological malignancies. Less common tumors of the Central nervous system, bones and soft tissues. The most rare are the “adult” forms of cancer – 3% (tumors of the skin, hollow organs, etc.).
Diagnosis of cancer in children
The difficulty in diagnosing cancer in children is that in many of the subjective wellbeing of the child may remain satisfactory even in the later stages of the disease. Often tumors are found accidentally, during the prophylactic examination. This is why regular medical examination is so important. For suspected cancer pediatrician directs the child to conduct additional analysis and research.
The final diagnosis in most slnchev set after the biopsy. A biopsy is a small operation, which separates the plot of tumor tissue for histological study. Biopsy precise variant of the tumor and determine the stage of the disease. The stage depends on the choice of treatment. In tumors of the hematopoietic organs such biopsy is bone marrow biopsy.
Treatment of cancer in a child
The treatment of malignant tumors in children are pediatric oncologists and Oncology & Hematology unit. Treatment of malignant tumors is carried out in specialized Oncology (hematologic) offices in major children’s hospitals and research centres. After discharge from the hospital, the child is under care of oncologist the children’s Department of the oncological dispensaries. For the treatment of cancer blood-forming organs pediatric Oncology & Hematology unit use conservative therapy – chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In the treatment of all other cancers in children (so-called solid tumors), in addition, the surgical method used.
Modern treatment is carried out on international programs – to-date treatment protocols are developed for each disease. Deviation from Protocol may lead to poor treatment outcomes. The possibility of a complete cure provides high sensitivity of tumors of childhood to cytotoxic agents.
After primary treatment, patients require long-term maintenance therapy and rehabilitation. At this point responsibility for the child’s condition and care will be borne by the parents. From the thoroughness of the implementation of all recommendations of the doctor depends largely on the results of treatment.
The need for the use of many expensive drugs and therapies have transformed the children’s Oncology the most invested in the area of Pediatrics. Every year on account of the children’s cancer centers and charities hundreds of people transfer money. In addition, patients receiving chemotherapy require regular transfusions of blood products. That is why the media are full of notes on a Pro Bono donation. Fortunately, hundreds of people every day to give blood and help doctors in the treatment of young patients.