Childhood cancer has an 80% cure rate if early treatment

Manaus – Cancer already represents the leading cause of death from disease among children and adolescents aged 1 to 19 years in Brazil, according to data from the National Cancer Institute (Inca). Childhood cancer is a disease that affects the body’s white blood cells (leukemia), the central nervous system, and lymphomas (lymphatic system).

Cancer or neoplasm is the name given to a group of more than 200 diseases that have in common the unusual and disordered growth of cells in the body. The problem with this uncontrolled growth is the possible change in the proper functioning of the organs in which it occurs, which can often generate aggressive and uncontrollable conditions that can also spread to other areas of the body (metastases).

The National Day to Combat Childhood Cancer, last Tuesday (23), reinforced the population’s importance of early diagnosis to save lives. Leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children, followed by central nervous system tumors and lymphomas.

Childhood cancer has an 80% cure rate if there is early treatment (Photo: Publicity / Advisory)

Symptoms

According to pediatric oncologist Paula Marinho Carvalho, parents and guardians need to be aware of the signs of the disease. “The main symptoms of childhood cancer are fever for no reason, enlarged nodes throughout the body, swollen belly, white spot in the eye, bone pain, unexplained weight loss, headache that lasts for a long time, bruises all over the body which is not related to trauma, pallor with progressive worsening, tiredness without a cause and spontaneous bleeding”.

The doctor also highlighted the importance of early diagnosis that can facilitate the treatment that advances more and more with medicine. “Currently, the main treatments for childhood cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Treatments have evolved over the years, with the discovery of new medications, new surgical techniques and more modern radiotherapy devices”.

Cancers in children and adolescents are considered more aggressive because they can develop quickly. On the other hand, children’s patients respond better to treatment and the chances of cure are greater, if compared to adults.

Over the past four decades, progress in treating childhood and adolescent cancer has been extremely significant. Today, about 80% of children and teenagers affected by cancer can be cured if diagnosed early and treated in specialized centers. Most of them will have a good quality of life after proper treatment.

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