If you have ever had a child diagnosed with a chronic illness, it will not be difficult to understand the trauma and guilt that the parents go through- – wondering what it was that they could have done to prevent this disease touching their child and what could have been done to catch it earlier. There are a few signs that could warn any parent and these are easy to remember with the simple mnemonic CHILDREN :
Continued, unexplained weight loss
Headaches with vomiting in the morning
Increased swelling or persistent pain in bones or joints, sometimes accompanied by limping
Lump or mass in abdomen, neck, or elsewhere
Development of a whitish appearance in the pupil of the eye or sudden changes in vision
Recurrent fevers not caused by infections
Excessive bruising or bleeding (often sudden)
Noticeable paleness or prolonged tiredness
If any of these symptoms are present it is advisable to go to your paediatrician and get evaluated. Early detection and timely intervention go a long way in improving the care of pediatric cancers.
Pediatric cancers are different and way more responsive to treatment than adult cancers. Pediatric oncologists talk about cure rates and overall survival. Most of the cancers are very curable and the cure rates are as high as 94-95% for many cancers.
September is Cancer awareness month and the best way to improve our survival rates is to empower parents with the right information.