Coping with Infection in Childhood Cancer
Symptom 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.
An infection occurs when the immune system is not able to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi or yeast quickly. Individuals with cancer are far more likely to develop infections easily because both the cancer itself as well as the cancer treatments weakens their immune system.
The immune system fights bacteria, viruses, and fungi that try to invade the body and includes the skin, the spleen, lymph nodes, the bone marrow and white blood cells called leukocytes and neutrophils, which help fight infections and destroy harmful substances.
A low level of neutrophils, called neutropenia, often increases the risk of developing dangerous infections. Leukopenia is when the body does not have enough white blood cells to fight infections.
Individuals with cancer, neutropenia, or a low white blood cell count are more likely to develop a serious infection.
Infections can start almost anywhere; common areas for an infection to start include the mouth, skin, lungs, urinary tract, rectum, and the genitals.
There are various factors related to cancer and cancer treatment that can affect your child’s white blood cells and lower their immune system, which makes it easy for an infection to take hold.
It is for this reason that one needs to be very careful around Children with Cancer, and why their visitors should be kept to the minimum and screened, because the slightest sign of a cold or infection of any type in a visitor could transfer to your child and make them very ill.
Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Infections on our static page, Infections in Childhood Cancer
Posted on 22 June, 2016, in Blog and tagged cancer, Child Cancer Awareness, childhood cancer, Children with Cancer, Fighting Cancer, Infections, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, side effects. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.