Every year, 250,000 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed worldwide, with a cure rate of up to 80%.
Cancer is a difficult and severe disease for anyone who suffers from it. However, not all cancers are the same or their incidence in humans is the same. Although we often see similarities in every case. But there are big differences between when cancer is experienced by adults and when the person who gets it is a child.
This disease, although it is the same type of cancer, is unusual but does not affect the body of a 7-year-old patient as well as a 40-year-old or 75-year-old patient. There are also many other conditions that cause young patients Able to cope with this disease and its consequences
In a way that is different from adults.They also handle it in a different way.
In today’s Bekia article, we will try to shed light on the differences in the disease when people suffering from it are children and when they are adults.
Childhood cancer has many unique characteristics. That makes them different from adults. Treatment, diagnosis, prognosis, causes, and even death are different.
Childhood cancer diagnosis
Let’s start from the beginning and say that the diagnosis is already different. Cancer is often detected earlier in adults, thanks to increased surveillance or the fact that testing is performed periodically. in the population at risk of getting sick This means that illnesses will be known faster.
You can start treatment first.
This often doesn’t happen in the case of childhood cancer. As a general rule, there’s no doubt that a child might be sick until something sounds the alarm. There is no testing and in most cases When it comes to diagnosis Several months later After another set of misdiagnoses.
This situation is not the fault of the child’s parents for not detecting it first. or of medical staff, simply speaking, considering the probability Children have a very rare chance of getting cancer. It is more common in adults than in minors. That must be taken into account as well.
Childhood cancers account for only 0.3% of the total. of cancer that has been diagnosed
In addition, in people of a certain age There are many factors (genetics, environment, habits…) that can lead to people thinking they have cancer.
These factors are generally not taken into account when initially making a diagnosis. Children’s illnesses, as these specific diseases do not affect This means that when a final diagnosis is received The disease then spreads and the cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
Cancers that affect children
Once diagnosed It was found that cancer that occurs in children is not often found in adults. and vice versa Therefore, within childhood cancer is very well known with leukemia Lymphoma brain tumor and bone cancerThey all have the fact that it is difficult to determine why.
On the other hand, the most common cancers are those that affect organs such as the lungs, colon, prostate, pancreas, or breast. These illnesses generally do not affect children. Therefore, treatment in either case is completely different.
The cancers mentioned above are childhood cancers with the highest incidence among minors. But there are many other types.
which is a minority group. This makes it difficult to diagnose and for people with the disease to receive adequate treatment.
Different diseases depend on age.
Even childhood cancer has several disease types that have a higher incidence. It depends on the age of the child. So, leukemia (affects white blood cells and the spinal cord) affects all types of minors However, acute lymphocytic leukemia has a special incidence in the youngest children.
On the other hand, bone cancer (affecting the joints) tends to occur in children in their prime growth stages, such as adolescence.
80% of brain tumors That has been recorded as a child between the ages of 10 and 15 years.
Finally, lymphoma, which affects the body’s immune system, is divided into two types: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. and Hodgkin’s disease The first one has a higher incidence in young children, while the second one is only present among teenagers.
Childhood cancer treatment
When it comes to treating childhood cancer and one developed by adults, There are noticeable differences, so let’s start with them.
They do not share medical personnel.There are people who specialize in diseases that affect minors and require different knowledge and skills.
In addition, because we have a smaller number of patients compared to adult cancers, Finding the right unit to treat your case is not always easy, unfortunately, because
according to the number of existing cases Today, every hospital in Spain has an oncology department to treat these patients.
But not all of them have space for the treatment of pediatric tumors. But these types of cases are concentrated in just a few medical centers.
forcing some patients to move to other cities or autonomous communitiesEven though he is still young There they are looked after by skilled personnel. They live with other children. who have the same or very similar experiences as them And they received special assistance. This is the case for the work they develop.
Psychologist or family therapist.
Although in the case of adults He or she knows that cancer is a serious disease that must be fought. But in the case of children It is often necessary to explain to them what is happening to them.
This is done in an emotional and protective environment for the child, of which his family is a part.
More severe prognosis
We’ve seen before how diagnosis in children is slower than expected. And these types of cancer also have a very high death rate. Therefore,
When talking about prognosis There is no doubt that it is more difficult than cancer in adults.
Although in recent years the prognosis for childhood cancer has increased,
It has improved a lot.The survival rate is lower than that of adults. Brain tumors “cure” faster, and in the case of bone cancer there are still children who can recover. fully and have an uncomplicated adult life
from various studies It has also been found that 250,000 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed worldwide every year.
Expect a recovery of 80%.Considering the fact that this percentage has increased in recent times in an extraordinary way. It is therefore worth thinking that it will continue on this line and will continue to decline.