The Jakarta Post
It is crucial that parents know the symptoms and types of cancer that could affect children, as children don't yet know how to convey illness and discomfort they may feel. (Shutterstock/File)
It is estimated that every year 175,000 children globally are diagnosed with cancer, said Mururul Aisyiyah, a pediatrician at Dharmais Hospital.
Approximately 90,000 of them die due to late or a lack of treatment, as children don't yet know how to convey illness and discomfort they may feel.
Early detection of childhood cancer is the key to successful treatment in children. It is crucial that parents know the symptoms and types of cancer that could affect children, as compiled by kompas.com.
This type of cancer has the highest number of cases among children. Aisyi said leukemia affects an average rate of 2.8 out of 100,000 children. This cancer can even affect toddlers.
"Symptoms of leukemia are paleness, weakness, fussiness, dramatic decreases in appetite and fever without a cause. But we also need to see whether there are physical changes in the body, such as enlargement of the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. That could be leukemia," Aisyi said.
As the name implies, retinoblastoma cancer attacks the eye area, or more specifically, the retina. Cases that occur in children reach a rate of 2.4, in every 100,000 children. Aisyi said this cancer usually attacks children under the age of 5.
Symptoms of this cancer include a white color in the pupil, eyes that appear to be looking in different directions, redness and swelling. If not treated immediately, this cancer can become malignant and the impact will cause blindness at the very least.
Another name for this cancer is bone cancer. This case affects 0.97 of every 100,000 children. This cancer is characterized by symptoms of bone pain at night or after carrying out activities, as well as swelling and redness around the bones.
"Osteosarcoma only occurs in the legs and arms. This cancer affects 10- to 15-year-old boys. Within three months it can spread to the lungs and it is very fatal. Treatment is amputation. It usually occurs in men who are tall," explained Aisyi.
Read also: Lending hand to children with cancer
Malignant lymphoma is a cancer that attacks the lymph tissue, which occurs in a rate of 0.75 in every 100,000 children. This cancer usually attacks children aged over 5.
The symptoms are indicated by swelling of the area around the child's neck with a diameter of 2 to 3 centimeters. When touched, the lump doesn't hurt and even tends to be normal. However, usually children will experience fever and excessive sweating at night.
"Carcinoma is a malignant cancer in the area between the nose and throat. Early symptoms to watch out for are runny nose mixed with blood, runny nose and thick saliva, stuffy nose, nosebleeds and deafness," said Aisyi.
This type of cancer affects at least a rate 0.43 children out of every 100,000 children. (liz/kes)