Pediatric oncology is a specialty devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer in children. It is usually done in a specially designed facility to care for children with cancer since children’s cancers are not always treated like adult cancers.
Cancers that are often common in children include:
Children usually respond better to cancer treatment than adults because children frequently do not co-exist with other illnesses the way some adults do. Their bodies can therefore withstand more intense treatments than the bodies of adults.
During the diagnosis process, the doctor will ask specific questions that will aid in identifying the cancer. The questions may include:
It is important to note that some children are more likely to get cancer if some family members have experienced cancer before.
Additionally, the doctor could recommend that the child undergoes imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs to look for signs of cancer. He/she might also advise having a biopsy on the child, whereby a sample of the child’s tissue is taken and sent to the lab to be examined for the presence of cancer cells.
If the tests reveal traces of cancer, the doctor might inform the child’s caregiver of the disease’s stage. Staging is a typical procedure that tells the extent of cancer’s spread and aids the doctor in selecting the most effective course of action.
Cancer is classified according to stages I, II, III. Or IV. A lower stage number indicates that cancer has not spread widely throughout the body; and the cancer has advanced if it is higher. The treatment option is based on the stage of the cancer.
Chemotherapy for childhood cancer
Chemotherapy treats the child’s entire body, not just the cancer cells. Depending on the medication the child takes, they may experience various adverse effects.
Surgery for childhood cancer
At some point, the child may require surgery to relieve cancer-related pain or discomfort. He/she may require just one surgery or several procedures over time, depending on the type of cancer they have.
Additionally, the doctor might advise surgery to identify the type, determine the stage, and treat the cancer.