Coping with Superior Vena Cava Syndrome in Childhood Cancer


SVCSymptom 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.

Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) occurs when a person’s superior vena cava is partially blocked or compressed. The superior vena cava is a major vein in a person’s body. It carries blood from the head, neck, upper chest, and arms to the heart. Cancer is usually the main cause of SVCS.

More than 90% of cases of superior vena cava obstruction (SVCO) are caused by cancer – most commonly bronchogenic carcinoma, typically a tumour outside the vessel compressing the vessel wall – but it can, sometimes, have a benign cause.

SVCS is rare in children. However, SVCS in children can be life threatening. If your child has signs of SVCS, it is important to contact their health care team immediately.

A child’s trachea is smaller and softer than an adult’s trachea; this means that it can swell or become constricted quickly, causing breathing problems.

SVCS may develop quickly, completely blocking the airway. When this occurs, a person may need a ventilator to help with breathing until the blockage is treated. More commonly, if the blockage develops slowly, other veins may enlarge to carry extra blood. In these situations, the symptoms may be milder.

Sometimes, people with SVCS may not need treatment until SVCS is diagnosed. Or, they may not need treatment right away. This depends on whether the symptoms are mild, the trachea is not blocked, and blood is flowing well through other veins in the chest. At other times the CVS can be dealt with in various ways.

 

Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding SVCS on our static page, Superior Vena Cava Syndrome in Childhood Cancer

 

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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 21 July, 2016, in Articles, Blog, Side Effects. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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