The Differences Between Childhood Cancer & Adult Cancer
Most people think that cancer is cancer, and that Childhood Cancer is basically the same as Adult Cancer, but they could not be more wrong!
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancerous, and can spread to other areas of the body.
The types of cancers that develop in children are often different from the types that develop in adults.
Childhood Cancers are often the result of DNA changes in cells that take place very early in life, sometimes even before birth. Unlike many cancers in adults, Childhood Cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors.
There are some exceptions, but childhood cancers tend to respond better to treatments such as chemotherapy (also called chemo). Children’s bodies also tend to handle chemotherapy better than adults’ bodies do. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause long-term side-effects though, so children who have had cancer need careful follow-up for the rest of their lives.
South Africa, unlike most developed countries, does not really have Childhood Cancer Centres, and most of our Little Fighters are treated in government hospitals; the most famous being the Red Cross War Memorial Hospital and Tygerberg Hospital, both in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.
Most larger government hospitals now also have a Childhood Oncology Ward, and the treatment is generally very good.
A Child with Cancer’s Oncology Team will usually consist of a team of specialists who know the differences between adult and childhood cancers, as well as the unique needs of children and teens with cancer and their families. This team usually includes paediatric oncologists (childhood cancer doctors), surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and paediatric oncology nurses.
Many Childhood Paediatric Oncology Wards often also have psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and physical therapists, who can support and educate the entire family.
Posted on 8 September, 2016, in Blog and tagged Cancer Awareness Month, Child Cancer Awareness, childhood cancer, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Children with Cancer, Fighting Cancer, Little Fighters, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, paediatric cancer, Pediatric cancer, pediatric cancer awareness. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.