This is not something that is pleasant to do but do arm yourself with information because childhood cancer, though rare, is not easily detectable. The symptoms can be ambiguous and resemble those of many other illnesses.
You will need to consult a physician who will carry out an assessment of the symptoms, which can include persistent nausea and vomiting, recurring weight loss and headaches, excessive tiredness, painful swellings in the joints and limbs, unexplained lumps in armpits or legs or chest, and continual infections.
Cancer weakens a child, wrecks bones and other organs, and destroys the immune system’s defenses against other infections. The most typical childhood cancers are brain cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and bone cancer.
The triggers for a cancer in a child are different from those for an adult. Sometimes it may be due to a genetic condition or if they have already been treated for a cancer. But mostly it is because of nonhereditary gene mutations in their growing cells. These alterations take place arbitrarily and erratically and so, as yet, there is no effectual course of prevention.
Pediatric oncologists work with children with cancer and coordinate with other specialists in children’s cancer centers. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can all be used to treat a child’s cancer depending on the patient’s age and type and acuteness of the cancer.
Children with cancer should be aware of the treatment they are undergoing and should be given explanations at a level they can understand. Give them information about the cancer they have and its likely effects. Don’t let them become frightened or misunderstand what is happening. You can bring in a psychologist to work with children so they can understand their feelings and be reassured. Explain to the child’s friends and schoolmates what exactly he is going through so that they can support him better. Information leads to compassion and strength.
Children should be encouraged to return to school as soon as possible after the diagnosis. This keeps them centered with a purpose in life. It also signals to them that they are capable of getting better and getting on with their lives. Let their lives be as close to their normal routine as possible. Discuss with them how they can best handle questions about their illness and possible scars from surgery.
A child’s diet may change and must be more nutritionally effective as they need more proteins and fluids to keep other infections at bay. Check with the doctor what kind of beverages and foods need to be given so that the protein and calorie content is high. Chemotherapy and radiation may put them off their food as they may not be able to taste or smell food. They may also suffer from a loss of appetite so keep nutritional snacks at hand.
After the cancer treatment make sure your child has regular follow-up checks to promptly identify and monitor the after-effects. These may happen because of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery.
Childhood cancers are diagnosed and treated over a longer period of time than is the case for adults and there are also side effects to this. However, with huge strides being made in medicine and research, cancer-stricken children are being successfully treated and they do go on to live normal lives.