Know the Warning Signs of Cancer in Children
Published On Jan 06, 2021, Updated On Apr 23, 2021
Cancer can be hard to detect in children. But there are several signs and symptoms that children with cancer may experience, which are similar to common childhood illnesses. Also, there may be times when the children do not show any of these symptoms. Or it may also happen that the cause of the symptom may be a different medical condition which is not cancer.
Possible Signs and Symptoms of Cancer in Children
The signs and symptoms of cancer can be very different from those of other illnesses in childhood. Note that the symptoms listed below may or may not be due to cancer. But it is recommended to see your doctor in case your child is facing any of the following issues:
- If the child is unable to wee or has blood in their wee
- If there is an unexplained lump, swelling, or firmness anywhere in the body
- Pain in the back that is not going away, or pain in any other body part that does not let the child sleep in the night
- Pain in the abdomen or swelling that is not going away
- Unexplained seizures, behavioral change, or change in the mood
- Headaches that you are unable to cure
- Unexplained bruising or a rash of small purple or red spots that occur frequently
- Unusual paleness
- If the child is feeling lethargic or tired all the time
- Flu-like symptoms or infections
- Vomiting, shortness of breath
- Unexplained high fever or sweating
- Changes in the appearance of the eyes
Seeing a Doctor
In case you see these signs or symptoms in your child, then you must talk to a doctor. You will be required to share a few details and answer a few questions like-since how long is your child facing health issues, etc. This will help the doctor figure out the cause of the problem, also known as a diagnosis.
After asking a few questions about your child’s medical history and symptoms, the doctor will examine your child. If the symptoms are due to cancer, then the doctor might suggest some imaging tests like x-ray, etc. Sometimes there is an abnormal lump or tumor and the doctor may be required to remove it entirely or partially in order to look at it under a microscope for cancer cells, which is also known as a biopsy.
God forbid, if your child is diagnosed with cancer, then relieving symptoms is the next important step as a part of the treatment. This is referred to as palliative care or supportive care. Generally, it is started soon after the diagnosis and continues throughout the treatment. You must not forget to talk to your child’s healthcare team about the signs and symptoms that he/she is facing, including new symptoms, if any, or change in the symptoms.
Other Ways of Being Diagnosed
Sometimes, it may also happen that cancer is diagnosed during tests for some other illness. Or when someone needs to go to Accident and Emergency (A&E). This is because their symptoms arise suddenly.
Seeing your child unwell and then knowing about their cancer diagnosis in a brief period can be hard to handle. You might even feel hopeless at some point in time. But panicking is not the solution. What is best in such situations is reaching out to friends and family, talking to them, or simply taking up help from them in carrying out things.
So, you must not ignore the potential childhood cancer symptoms but should not even worry any more than you usually do.
Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.