The words “childhood” and “cancer” should never have to go together, but each year more than 10,000 children are diagnosed with some type of cancer, according to City of Hope, a supporter of Healthy Hairdresser. When the cancer is caught early, kids tend to have a good prognosis. City of Hope notes that, today, more than 80% of children with cancer survive five years or more, compared with 60% in the 1970s even though the rate of diagnosis has been steadily rising.
Leukemia, along with brain and other central nervous system tumors, account for more than half of new childhood cancer cases. Other common types include neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, retinoblastoma and bone cancer.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a good time to help get the word out about 12 early signs that a child may have cancer:
- Bone or joint pain
- Swelling or lump in the belly
- Sudden weight loss
- Vision problems
- Excessive bruising
- Night sweats
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Trouble walking
Since many of these symptoms are common in children, parents should pay attention to how long these symptoms linger. For example, consult a doctor about chronic fatigue or a fever that lasts more than a week.