Coping with Headaches in Childhood Cancer

Headaches in Childhood CancerSymptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.

Virtually everyone gets the occasional headache, and headaches are common in people with cancer, but not all headaches feel the same or have the same cause.

Headaches are generally divided into two main categories: Primary Headaches and Secondary Headaches:

  • Primary Headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches. Tension headaches are also known as muscle contraction headaches.
  • Secondary Headaches are headaches caused by another medical condition or underlying factor, such as a brain tumour, head injury, infection, or medication.

Both primary and secondary headaches are common in people with cancer. Your child’s doctor will find the best way to treat their headache by determining the type and cause of the headache, based on your child’s symptoms.

It is important to determine which type of headache your child has via the symptoms he or she is exhibiting or experiencing. These include the duration, frequency, quality, severity, location, timing and what generally triggers the headache.  The treatment will depend on those characteristics as well as the cause of the headaches.

It is also important to tell your child’s doctor or another member of their healthcare team if they are experiencing frequent or severe headaches, if the headache wakes them at night, if you notice a change in the pattern or frequency of existing headaches, or if the headaches are new and associated with other symptoms.

Keeping a headache diary to track your child’s symptoms can be helpful. Your child’s doctor may also order tests such as blood tests, a computerised tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, or other tests based on the pattern and associated symptoms.


Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Headaches on our static page, Headaches in Childhood Cancer



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 20 June, 2016, in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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