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International Childhood Cancer Day: Know about the types of cancers that develop in children

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Cancer is referred to as a group of life-threatening diseases that are primarily associated with the development of abnormal cells in the body. According to medical experts, abnormal cells divide uncontrollably in the respective condition to harm the various body tissues. There are more than 100 types of cancers including brain cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, blood cancer, etc. that resulted in almost 9.6 million deaths worldwide in 2018.

Cancer is also the leading cause of children and adolescent demises in the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), almost 3 lakh children (aged 0 to 19 years) are diagnosed with cancer each year. For instance, a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research claimed that childhood cancer constituted nearly 5.5% of the total cancer cases in India. Fortunately, most of the childhood cancers can be cured in the initial stages with generic medicines manufactured by the top pharmaceutical companies and with other forms of treatment including surgery and radiotherapy.  

Here are some of the most common types of cancers that occur in children and adolescents:    

  • Leukaemia

Leukaemia is known as the cancer of the bone marrow and blood. According to experts from the pharmaceutical industry in India, it is the most common type of cancer prevalent in children and accounts for almost 28% of all the cancers in children. Severe bone and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, pale skin, bruising and bleeding, unexplained weight loss, fever, etc. are some of the most prominent symptoms of leukaemia. Acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) and Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are the two most common types of leukaemia in children.    

  • Brain or spinal cord tumours

Brain and spinal cord tumours are the second most common type of cancer (after leukaemia) and make up nearly 26% of all the childhood cancers. Medical experts claim that most of the brain tumours initially commence from the lower part of the brain such as cerebellum or brain stem. Headache, nausea, blurred or double vision, dizziness, seizures, etc. are some common symptoms associated with brain tumours.

  • Lymphomas
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Lymphomas is defined as the cancer of the immune system. It starts in the immune system cells known as lymphocytes and eventually affects the lymphoid nodes and other lymph tissues like tonsils or thymus. Medical experts claim that in some cases the condition can also affect the bone marrow and other organs like liver or spleen. Weight loss, tiredness and fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, fever, sweat, etc. are some of the most common symptoms associated with lymphomas. Apart from the above-mentioned conditions, Wilms tumour, Neuroblastoma, thyroid cancer, bone cancer, etc. are some of the other types of cancers prevalent in childhren.

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