Seek Medical Help Early To Save Your Child’s Life.
WHAT IS CANCER?
Cancer begins when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. There are many kinds of cancer, but they all start because of the out-of- control growth of abnormal cells. Cancer cells spread to other parts of the body – something that normal cells do not do. This may prevent affected parts from functioning properly.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF CHILDHOOD CANCER
The following may be early warning signs of cancer in children. Other conditions could also result in similar symptoms but it is important to take the child to a hospital to be examined. If the symptoms do not get better after seeking initial care, ask for a referral to a higher facility.
WHAT CAUSES CHILDHOOD CANCER?
For many childhood cancers, the causes are unknown. Most cancers in children, like those in adults, are thought to develop as a result of mutations in genes that lead to uncontrolled cell growth and eventually cancer.Environmental factors such as radiation, pesticides, and some drugs increase the risk of developing cancer. Some viruses such as Hepatitis B and C.
Early Detection of Eye Cancer
Seek medical help early for ongoing symptoms.
White spot in the eye, new squint, sudden blindness or bulging eyeball.
Lump on the stomach, pelvis, head, arms, legs, testicle or glands.
Unexplained fever present for over two weeks, weight loss, fatigue, pale appearance, easy bruising & bleeding.
Aching bones, joints, back and easy fractures.
Neurological signs, a change in walk, balance or speech, regression, continuous headaches with /without vomiting & enlarged head.
Common Childhood Cancers
Wilm’s Tumour (Kidney Cancer)
Leukemia (Blood Cancer)
Neuroblastoma (Nerve Cancer)
Lymphomas (Cancer of the Lymphoid Tissues)
Retinoblastoma (Eye Cancer)
TESTS TO DIAGNOSE CANCER
Tests such as blood tests and various scans are done to confirm that it is cancer, and to know the type and the spread of the disease. If there is a lump, a piece is taken for examination in the laboratory.
TREATMENT OF CANCER
The type of treatment of childhood cancer depends on the type of cancer. Treatment usually involves a combination of drugs called chemotherapy. Surgery and radiotherapy may also be used together with the drugs. The duration of treatment depends on the type and the spread of cancer. Currently, there is only one childhood cancer treatment centre in Zimbabwe: A4 Special Ward, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals (PGH), in Harare Zimbabwe.