Childhood Cancer Awareness

Goals

To understand the causes of childhood cancer, its common types, symptoms, as well as the difference in treatment with cancer in adults. Additionally, to learn about how children and their family cope with living with cancer, and after cancer is cured.

Early Findings

1-How does cancer in children differ from cancer in adults?

  • The Dana-Farber cancer institute reports that child cancer and adult cancer are characterized by important differences.
  • A major difference is in the rate of occurence which is much higher in adults, with 1.7 million cases diagnosed in the US every year, compared to only 10,600 in children under .
  • This is explained by the fact that the genetic mutations that cause the disease by having an impact in cell growth and division take years to accumulate.
  • Some types of cancer are much more frequent in children such as leukemias and lymphomas, which represent half of all occurences in children, but less than 10% of adult cancers.
  • The contrast is even stronger for brain and nervous system tumors, representing over a quarter of children cancers, but less than 1.5% of all adult cancers.
  • Carcinomas, on the other hand, affect 75% of adults, but are not commonly found in children.
  • Other differences between adult and childhood cancer includes how fast the disease spreads as well as the milecular make-up.

2- Cause or risk factors of childhood cancer

  • Some cancers that occur at an early age have been found to result from genetic mutations that take place during the development of the foetus.
  • Unfortunately, for adults and for children as well, the causes of the majority of cancers are still unknown despite all the research efforts.
  • Links between environmental factors and childhood cancers have not established with certainty, due to the challenge of tracking child exposure to these factors and because of the low rate of cancer occurence in children.

3- What are the common types of childhood cancer?

  • Around 50% of childhood cancers are leukemias or lymphomas.
  • An additional 26% of all pediatric cancers are tumors affecting the central system or the brain.
  • Neuroblastoma is another common type of cancer affecting children, but not very frequent after age 10.

4- Cite recent childhood cancer stats. Any trend, pattern? e.g. a particular country or race has a higher incidence of a specific type of childhood cancer. It would be great if we have worldwide stats

  • CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a US-based charity focused on finding a cure for childhood cancer, provides a variety of statistics on the topic. These statistics are gathered from various reliable sources such as The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Vital Statistic Report.
  • In the US, in 2018 , cancer was the first source of mortality in children aged between 1 and 19, with 53% of all deaths.
  • For data on the global scale, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an excellent source of statistics.

5 - Signs of cancer in children

  • Not covered yet.

6- Is treatment for cancer in children different than that of adults? What’s the outlook of children with cancer?

  • Despite the fact that cancers tend to be more aggressive in children, the latter usually have a better response rate to the treatment than adults.
  • Children have a better five-year survival rate than adults for certain types of cancer, with 95% for Hodgkin lymphoma, 91% for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 91% for acute lymphoid leukemia.
  • There are very few specific cancer treatments available for children, with only 4 approved in the last 20 years

7- What is life like for children with cancer? How about their families? What can happen after the cancer is cured? What can parents/family member do to help a child with cancer?

  • Not covered yet.

8- How can parents cope if their child is diagnosed with cancer?

  • Not covered yet.

9- Please find a couple of stories or qualitative exploration in the clinical setting of families whose children are diagnosed with cancer and who have recovered from it. What was recovery like?

  • Not covered yet.

Summary of Findings

  • After conducting one hour of preliminary research, we have been able to find a wealth of data and information about the difference between adult and children cancer, the causes of childhood cancer, the common types of pediatric cancers, and differences in treatment between adults and children. We have also been able to find some statistics on the rate of occurence and the morbidity in the US. We have not looked at the signs of cancer, the life of children with cancer and their family, and real cases or stories. However, given the amount of information available online on child cancer, we are confident that we would be able to cover all requests in depth with further hours of research.
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.”


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