Dede Writes ; The Gold September*.

What is childhood cancer?Cancer in children can occur anywhere in the body, including the blood and lymph node systems, brain and spinal cord (central nervous system, or CNS), kidneys, and other organs and tissues.Most of the time, there is no known cause for childhood cancers.

Childhood cancers may behave very differently from adult cancers, even when they start in the same part of the body. Cancer begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control. In most types of cancer, these cells form a mass called a tumor.

A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread to distant parts of the body. Malignant tumors also usually grow rapidly, while benign tumors generally grow slowly.

In leukemia, a cancer of the blood that starts in the bone marrow, these abnormal cells very rarely form a solid tumor. Instead, these cells crowd out other types of cells in the bone marrow. This prevents the production of ; Normal red blood cells, Cells that carry oxygen to tissues.White blood cells, Cells that fight infection. Platelets, the part of the blood needed for clotting.

Types of childhood cancer .

  1. Leukemia (accounts for about 28% of childhood cancer cases) °Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), °Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

2. Brain and spinal cord tumors (27%), also called central nervous system (CNS) tumors

  • Glialtumors
  • Astrocytoma
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Ependymoma
  • Choroid plexus carcinoma
  • Oligoastrocytoma
  • Glioblastoma
  • Mixed glial neuronal tumors
    • Ganglioglioma
    • Desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma
    • Pleomorphioc xanthoastrocytoma
    • Anaplastic ganglioglioma
  • Neural tumors
    • Gangliocytoma
    • Neurocytoma
  • Embryonal tumors
    • Medulloblastoma
    • Medulloepithelioma
  • Ependymoblastoma
    • Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid tumor
  • Pineal tumors
    • Pineocytoma

3.Neuroblastoma (6%), a tumor of immature nerve cells. The tumor often starts in the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys and are part of the body’s endocrine (hormonal) system.

4. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (6%) and Hodgkin lymphoma (3%), cancers that begin in the lymph system

5. Wilms tumor (5%), a type of kidney tumor

6. Rhabdomyosarcoma (3%), a type of tumor that most commonly begins in the striated skeletal muscles. Non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas can also occur in other parts of the body.

7 . Germ cell tumors (3%), rare tumors that begin in the testicles of boys or ovaries of girls. Rarely, these tumors can begin in other places in the body, including the brain.

8. Retinoblastoma (2%), a type of eye tumor

9. Osteosarcoma (2%) and Ewing sarcoma (1%), tumors that usually begin in or near the bone

10 . Pleuropulmonary blastoma, a rare kind of lung cancer

11 .Hepato Blastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma (1%), types of liver tumors.

How often do you physically examine your children? As a parent/care-giver, it is always best to physically assess your children in order to know whether they are okay or they would need to be reviewed by a physician.

Have you heard of the “LADYBIRDS”?


This is an acronym which is sometimes used for the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer so as to diagnose the child early.

As an ambassador of the Gold September ( childhood cancer awareness month), I’m super elated to take you through the acronym the ‘LADYBIRDS’.

‘L’ – Loss of weight ( is the child losing weight? is the child always sick and is he/she having persistent nausea?)

‘A’ – Appearance ( does the child look pale or is there any swelling in/on the tummy?)

‘D’ – Discomfort ( does the child have pain anywhere? is the discomfort of child persistent?)

‘Y’ – Yawning ( Yawning is rare but as a parent you really have to show concern when the child yawns excessively)

‘B’ – Bleeding ( is the child bleeding from any part of the body or are there excessive bruises or blood in urine?)

‘I’ – Irritability ( is there constant exhaustion or unsteadiness of the child?)

‘R’ – Recurrent high temperature or does the child sweats profusely at night?

‘D’ – Disturbances in Vision ( is there any unusual whitish appearance on the pupils?{eye} )

‘S’ – Swelling ( is the child having lump that is protruding in any part of the body?)

Then you should be concerned about these alarming signs and symptoms.

Childhood Cancer is real, as parents let us save a life by periodically assessing our children.

Again, remember that early diagnosis can only be done if the child is reviewed early by a physician when you see these signs and take them to the hospital.