How are Childhood Cancers Treated?
What is Childhood Cancer Awareness? It is ensuring that everyone becomes aware of the fact that not only adults get cancer (there are still many people that do not realise that children can also get cancer); it is spreading the Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer so that parents and others know what to look out for.
WHY do we need such a thing as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? We need it because too many children are still dying from cancer worldwide every year!!
Why are so many children still dying of cancer in the 21st century? There are various reasons why, including:
- Many individuals are still unaware of Childhood Cancer and have no clue what the warning signs of Childhood Cancer are;
- Many children are being diagnosed too late for any chance of remission;
- Even though there is a lot of ongoing research into Childhood Cancer, only 3 – that is ONLY THREE new cancer medications have been approved specifically for children in the last TWENTY YEARS!!
While most of us can do nothing about discovering new Childhood Cancer Treatments, every single one of us CAN do something about spreading Childhood Cancer Awareness so that more children with cancer can be diagnosed earlier and therefore stand a better chance of getting life-saving treatment!
Today’s post contains some brief information around the Treatments for Childhood Cancers.
Please share far and wide to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness so that more parents can be aware of the Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer and get their child to a doctor earlier should they exhibit any of the signs.
The Best Defence against Childhood Cancer is Awareness and Early Diagnosis
Childhood Cancer Treatments
Treatments are chosen for Childhood Cancers based mainly on the type and stage (extent) of the cancer. Conventional Medical Treatment options for Childhood Cancer might include Surgery, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, and/or other types of treatment. In many cases, more than one of these treatments is used concurrently.
There are exceptions, but childhood cancers usually respond well to chemotherapy because they tend to be cancers that grow fast. (Most forms of chemotherapy affect cells that are growing quickly.)
Children’s bodies are also generally better able to recover from higher doses of chemotherapy than are adults’ bodies. Using more intensive treatments gives doctors a better chance of treating the cancer effectively, but it can also lead to more short- and long-term side effects.
Unlike chemotherapy, radiation can often cause more serious side effects in children (especially very young children) than in adults, so its use sometimes needs to be limited. Doctors do their best to balance the need for intensive treatment with the desire to limit side effects as much as possible.
There are also various other Side Effects of Childhood Cancer; some from the cancer itself and others caused by various cancer treatments
For detailed information on how a certain type of childhood cancer is treated, see our information on that specific type of Childhood Cancer.
Apart from all the above Conventional Medical Treatments for Childhood Cancer, there are also many Complementary & Alternative Therapies that are/can be used to fight Childhood Cancer including Aromatherapy, Acupuncture, Art Therapy, Biofeedback, Energy Therapies (also called Biofield Therapies), Guided Imagery /Visualisation, Herbal Medicine/Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Naturopathic Medicine, and many more.
A Complementary Therapy means you can use it alongside your conventional medical treatment; An Alternative Therapy is generally used instead of conventional medical treatment.
The Cancer Treatment Team
Children with cancer and their families have special needs that can be best met at Children’s Cancer Centres. Treatment of childhood cancer in specialised centres is coordinated by a team of experts who know the differences between adult and childhood cancers, as well as the unique needs of Children with Cancer and their Families.
While there are no specialised Childhood Cancer Centres in South Africa, there are some very good Paediatric Oncology Wards within various hospitals, and they usually also have oncological teams on staff that attend Children with Cancer.
This team usually includes:
- Pediatric Oncologists: doctors who specialise in using traditional medicines to treat children with cancer
- Paediatric Surgeons: doctors who specialise in performing surgery on children
- Radiation Oncologists: doctors who specialise in using radiation to treat cancer
- Paediatric Oncology Nurses: nurses who specialise in caring for children with cancer
A child’s oncological team can also include various other professionals including child psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and rehabilitation/physical therapists.
While it is important that a Child with Cancer has all the medical, physical and emotional help they can get to help them in the fight of their lives against this terrible disease, it is also important that the Family of the Little Fighter also has both physical and emotional support as, when a child gets cancer, the whole family is affected.
Fighting Childhood Cancer is hugely expensive and financially draining, especially for poorer families; add to that the fact that in most families at least one of the parents has to give up their gainful employment in order to be with and look after their child, sometimes for years, and one can see that many Families also need financial help.
Posted on 15 September, 2016, in Blog and tagged cancer, Cancer Awareness Month, cancer cells, cancer treatment, Chemotherapy, Child Cancer Awareness, childhood cancer, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Children with Cancer, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, south africa. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.