Orange Coast Radiation Oncology Center
September Is Childhood Cancer Month

September Is Childhood Cancer Month

Childhood cancers are relatively rare, but when they do occur, they tend to be more aggressive than most types of cancers adults experience. For that reason, it’s important to be aware of the different types of childhood cancers so you can receive treatment as early as possible. To bring awareness to Childhood Cancer Month (September), here are a few things you should know about the different cancer types and symptoms to watch for in your own child. If your little one shows any of the common signs of childhood cancer, it’s important to understand your cancer treatment options. 

Understanding Childhood Cancer Types

There are many different types of cancer that mainly affect children. A few of the most common types include:

  • Leukemia
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Brain and spinal cord tumors
  • Lymphoma
  • Wilms tumor
  • Bone cancer
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma

There are many other types as well, but these are some of the most common among children in America. Some children are at higher risk of certain types of cancer because of gene mutations they inherit from a parent. However, most childhood cancers aren’t caused by inherited DNA mutations. Instead, they are caused by changes in the DNA that occur early in the child’s development. In some cases, the harmful gene changes may occur before the child is even born. 

Symptoms Your Child May Exhibit

If your child has one of the cancer types listed above, he or she may develop some of the following symptoms: 

  • Strange swelling in a body part or a lump that seems to develop out of nowhere
  • Limping and complaints about leg pain
  • Easy bruising
  • Unexplained and persistent loss of energy
  • Frequent headaches, often accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting
  • Ongoing pain in a specific part of the body
  • Strange paleness
  • Sudden changes to vision or eye movement
  • Unexplained weight loss and decreased appetite

If your child always seems to be sick or has an unexplained fever that won’t go away, those are also indications that there may be a serious underlying problem and it’s time to see a doctor of oncology. Although childhood cancers tend to be aggressive, your child’s outcome can be significantly improved with rapid detection and treatment. 

The Importance of a Second Opinion

Even if you have already received a treatment recommendation from an oncologist, it’s wise to get a second opinion. Getting a second opinion should not offend your doctor (as long as he or she has your child’s best interests in mind), and doing so will only increase your confidence in the treatment you choose. Additionally, requesting a second opinion from another doctor or cancer center could introduce you to cutting-edge treatments that could potentially improve your child’s outcome. The more informed you are about possible treatment plans, the more capable you will be of making a decision that is best for your child. 

Treatment Options

If you’re looking for a gentle, minimally invasive treatment option, Orange County CyberKnife offers non-surgical cancer solutions. We recommend CyberKnife radiation treatments for childhood cancers as well as adult cancers such as prostate cancer and lung cancer. Contact us today!