Detecting Childhood Cancer, What You Need to Know

Hearing that your child has cancer is something no parent expects, or ever wants to hear. Because you are not looking for these problems in somebody so young, it can be difficult to detect from the beginning. Be aware of the signs of childhood cancer, and catch this aggressive form as early as possible. Finding it before it has the chance to spread could help save your child’s life.


Be aware

Children Walking on Trail
Unfortunately, some children do not show any signs or symptoms when they have developed childhood cancer. This leaves the problem to grow until it is too late to take care of. When your child is young and unable to speak and express the feelings they are having, monitor them for any signs of distress. In most situations, cancer is extremely unlikely for those that young. Cases of childhood and teenage cancer are less than one percent of all cancer cases.


Some of the symptoms that children who have cancer commonly experience can be caused by other problems. These other issues vary in severity. If they continue, take your child in to be checked by a doctor. Make sure they aren’t a problem that should be addressed sooner rather than later.


The signs


There are a few different types of childhood cancer, some more serious than others. With that being noted, no case should be taken lightly. Some of the most common signs that your child could possibly have cancer are:


  • Weight loss that doesn’t correlate with your child’s eating habits
  • Intense headaches in the morning
  • Lumps that can be found somewhere on your child’s body
  • Unexplained bruising, outside of the normal bumps and bruises children acquire while playing
  • Nausea and vomiting that just won’t go away
  • They are more tired than usual
  • A fever that keeps coming back


If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, take them to get checked immediately. Even if it is something different and less threatening than childhood cancer, it is better to be safe in this situation. If your child does have a form of cancer, it is necessary to relieve some of the symptoms, to make your child as comfortable during the treatment as possible.


Take action
After your child has been diagnosed by the doctor, it is time to take action. Each type of cancer is different in the way it progresses, and the way it will affect your child. Work with your doctor to take them to scheduled appointments, keeping track of the progress of the treatment.


Treatment options may include uncomfortable or painful procedures that kids just don’t understand. Make sure to comfort them throughout the doctor visits, assuring them of the necessity of the process. There are a few different treatment options; each should be discussed with the doctor to find what will work best for your child.


Dealing with childhood cancer can be a stressful and difficult situation. Recognize the signs to catch the problem as soon as possible. This will make the procedure more manageable, not only for the parent, but for the child as well. If you notice any of the common symptoms of cancer in your child, don’t hesitate to take them in for a checkup.


By +Cassie Costner

Cassie writes for Family First Pediatrics, a Herriman Pediatrician, on dealing with childhood diseases. She has also written on the process of treatment, and how to talk to your child about these problems.