General


 

Do children really get cancer?
Yes, although the types of cancer which occur in children are different from those in adults. Altogether, about one child in 600 will develope cancer before the age of 15 years. Of the cancers which occur, about one third are leukaemia. Th next most common are the brain tumours, but cancer can occur in any part of the body or at any age. Sometimes, the tumour is already present at birth.

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Can childhood cancer be treated?
Many important discoveries are made in the treatment of cancer in the last few years. Many forms of childhood cancer can now be cured. Some forms of cancer are more likely to respond to treatment than others. With some types, nearly 100% of cases are cured with appropriate therapy. More than half the children who have cancer are cured, and can look forward to a normal active life.

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What is the treatment?
This varies according to the type of cancer, its site in the body and the extent to which it has spread to distant parts. The three main kinds of treatment which are used are surgery, radiotherapy (x-ray treatment) and chemotherapy (treatment with anti-cancer drugs). With some localised tumours, surgery alone may be all that is required to provide a cure but most cases will require radiotherapy or chemotherapy or both. Radiotherapy takes a few weeks to complete. Chemotherapy is given intermittently, over a period varying from a few months to two years. While on chemotherapy, children will be able to take part in normal activities such as attending schools, going on camps etc.

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Are the children completly cured?
Despite what some people believe, cancer can be permanently cured. There is an increasing number of adults now a days who are perfectly healthy and normal though they had cancer in childhood. They are able to work normally, marry and have children. It is extremely unlikely that they will pass on cancer to their own children.

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