As much as we deplore the existence of cancer, the fact that it has become quite a common disease has made us less surprised whenever we learn about someone we know getting diagnosed with the disease. However, when it’s a child that is diagnosed with the dreaded c, we cannot help but feel an ache in our hearts because we know how painful that would be for a child. A diagnosis would no doubt affect the lives of the child’s parents and relatives.
A good thirty years ago, a long time for many, only half of children with childhood cancer survive. Nowadays, thanks to continuous research and clinical trials, around 80 percent of young patients get to become adults and live happily with their loved ones. However, there are many types of cancer that children can develop, and for some of these diseases, the progress is slower than the rest. Every year, there are still thousands of children that become diagnosed with a specific type of cancer. It remains the leading cause of death by disease in children below 15 years of age.
Since September has been assigned as the month for Childhood Cancer Awareness, it would only be fitting to talk about childhood cancer and talk about the developments in the past years, as well as areas that still need improvement, whether in terms of research, prevention, medical assistance, and more.
The Dreaded C
Cancer is a term and a condition almost everyone has heard of and no one wants to have. It is a life-threatening disease caused by mutated cells in our body. When normal cells spiral out of control, they become cancerous.
There are many types of childhood cancer, and each type behaves differently from other types. The only thing they have in common is the fact that they came from abnormal cells. Among the most common childhood cancers are:
● White blood cells (leukemia) – Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer. It accounts for about 25 percent of all cancers diagnosed in children.
● Brain – Brain tumors are the most common solid tumor among young patients.
● Bone – There are three types of bone tumors, namely (1) osteosarcoma, where the bone cells become cancerous, (2) Ewing sarcoma, where a tumor affects either bones or soft tissue, and (3) rhabdomyosarcoma, which is the most common soft malignant tumor in children, and can develop in any muscle but frequently located near the head and neck area.
● Lymphatic System (lymphoma) – There are two main types, which are (1) Hodgkin’s lymphoma and (2) Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is characterized by an endless reproduction of the Reed-Sternberg cell, while Non-Hodgkin’s can be found anywhere in the body and is known to spread to almost any organ in the body.
One thing that people need to know about childhood cancers is that they can sometimes act differently from their adult counterparts. They also sometimes respond differently, which is why separate research has to be done.
How to Help Spread Childhood Cancer Awareness
These are the ways you can make a difference:
● Donate to Charity
● Attend a Fundraiser
● Start Your Own Fundraising Event
● Help a Loved One with Childhood Cancer
● Volunteer for an Organization
● Engage in Promotions
● Spread the Word
September Gold Ribbon Heroes
Devoting one’s life to helping children with cancer is a huge undertaking that not all people can achieve, so the American Childhood Cancer Organization recognizes people who have made a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients and those around them. That person can be a cancer patient, survivor, parent, sibling, relative, or a hospital staff, as long as they have made a significant impact that would inspire others to follow their footsteps or the actions they have made. You can nominate a hero by clicking on this link.
Remember that kids cannot fight cancer on their own, they need every bit of help they can get. So even the smallest act of charity can make a difference, so do not hesitate to extend a helping hand. Right now the cause of pediatric cancer remains largely unknown, so donations can go a long way.
For those with loved ones suffering from cancer at a young age, family support can help boost the morale of the child and make him or her more receptive to treatment. Brighten up their days with your presence and support.
Modern or conventional medicine offers chemotherapy, radiation, immune-based therapies, and bone marrow transplants as treatment for childhood cancer. Visit our homepage and check out holistic treatments for cancer that we offer.