11 symptoms of cancer in kids you need to know
For 40 years the biggest obstacle in curing childhood cancer has been late diagnosis; no one thinks his or her child has cancer. Furthermore, symptoms of cancer can be similar to many other childhood diseases, making it difficult to diagnose in time. However, the majority of children’s diseases (usually viruses) disappear between 7 and 10 days; but not when it comes to cancer.
You must remember that children are not small adults. Their physiology is different, so signs of cancer will also be different. But prevention of childhood cancer is rarely mentioned since many of the causes can’t be identified. There are a few risk factors — usually genetic predisposition and causes associated with virus infections — and there are less incidences of cancer in children than adults. Also, cure rates are higher for children than adults.
Pay attention to complaints of children and adolescents. Be aware if symptoms persist despite treatment.
Symptoms of childhood cancer
1. Weight loss — unexplained and ongoing.
2. Pain in the bones and joints when playing games or other activities.
3. Vomiting accompanied by headaches, usually in the morning.
4. Lumps that do not yield — usually appearing on the neck, armpits, groin and abdomen.
5. Increased belly volume
6. Petechia — tiny red spots that indicate bleeding of blood vessels, generally capillaries.
7. Purple spots on the skin (hematoma)
8. Off-white brightness on a retina when the eye is exposed to light
9. Constant tiredness and paleness — anemia.
10. Persistent fever of undetermined or unknown origin.
11. Frequent infections, indicating low immunity.
If you identify one or more of these symptoms in your child or teen, seek medical attention. If the problem persists even after consultation and treatment, return to the doctor and insist on a more careful diagnosis or consult a second opinion.