Cancer alertness : a reminder for parents

Cancer alertness : a reminder for parents
February 15 - International Day for children with cancer.Such in Russia is becoming more and more: 15 people sick each year from 100,000, and most appeals to doctors at a late stage.How not to miss a serious illness in a child - read our material.

«syndrome of small signs»

for malignant tumors in children, as in adults, is characterized by the so-called syndrome of small signs that a few months before setting the parents of the diagnosis (often already in retrospect) noted in a child:

  • lethargy andindifference to your favorite games;
  • sleep disturbance and appetite;
  • weight loss, weight loss;
  • small temperature;
  • causeless nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation;
  • abdominal pain or bones;
  • pale skin;
  • abdominal enlargement;
  • frequent bleeding (nose, bruises).

These symptoms may be the first manifestation of a tumor process, but often go unnoticed by parents and doctors, which leads to the fact that the tumor has already diagnosed at a late stage, when it is inoperable or any metastases.

stems from a lack of attention may be considered, including the absence of parents and pediatricians oncological vigilance against children because cancers have traditionally been considered a pathology older.

What oncological alertness

Unfortunately, in Russia the situation is not uncommon when parents are not at first notice the common "minor" symptoms, then doctors for a long time can not diagnose: an ordinary polyclinic pediatrician for 30 years of practice may be faced with a malignant process only 2-3 times.

As a result, only 10% of children fall into the oncology clinic with the 1st stage of the disease.About 75% of children come to oncologists since 3-4th stage, when treatment is more difficult, traumatic and expensive.And if the early stages of cancer favorable prognosis - 95-97% of patients can be cured, then the 4th stage the survival rate barely reaches 10%.

Of the 100 000 children 10-15 diagnosed a malignant tumor each year.Those most at risk are children under 4 years of age - it is in relation to them it is necessary to exercise the utmost caution oncology.Parents must be aware of the likelihood of malignancy in a child and know the early warning signs (in addition to the common symptom).

The first signs of the most common tumors in children

  1. Leukemia: fatigue, weakness, pale skin, nosebleeds, frequent bruising, increased bleeding.Then there are pains in the bones and joints.The increase in the abdomen due to liver and spleen, swollen lymph nodes, headache, weakness, cramps, vomiting, gait disturbance and vision.
  2. tumors of the brain and spinal cord: morning headache, anxiety and crying in young children, causeless vomiting in the morning, gait disturbance and vision, convulsions.
  3. nephroblastoma (tumor of the kidney) tumor formation in the stomach, which can be felt.
  4. Neuroblastoma: abdominal enlargement, education palpable abdominal pain, protrusion of the eyeball (if the tumor is located in the neck), bone pain, lameness.
  5. Retinoblastoma (malignant tumor of the eye), "the glow of the pupil", pain in the eye, strabismus, extension and fixation of the pupil, a violation of reaction to light, loss of vision.
  6. Rhabdomyosarcoma (soft tissue swelling, the symptoms depend on the location): painless seal in the soft tissues, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, protrusion of the eyeball, discharge from the nose.
  7. tumors of bone: bone pain, worse at night, limping.Precipitating factor may be trauma.
  8. Hodgkin's disease (Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease) refers to lymphomas, which occupy third place among childhood cancer.
  9. Lymphoma: an increase of one or a group of lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, itching, difficulty breathing, coughing.

Malignant tumors in infants

most common tumor in infants - neuroblastoma.It develops from the embryonic neural tissue and is characterized by the fact that over time neuroblastoma cells can differentiate and become benign, and in some cases disappear altogether - cells that is called ripening, because for some reason do not have time to do it in utero.

However, most often diagnosed the tumor progresses and metastasizes.In the later stages of the disease can only help the radioactive iodine therapy (MIBG-therapy), which accumulates in the tumor and causes its destruction.This therapy in Russia is not carried out, and the children have to send abroad to pay (and very expensive) treatment.

There are methods of screening for neuroblastoma - a determination of the level of catecholamines in the urine.This screening test made compulsory in Japan, resulting in a decreased incidence of disseminated neuroblastoma, increased overall survival of children have decreased the cost of treatment of such patients.

On the other hand, the number of cases - that is, screening identifies those cases of neuroblastoma, which alone could end favorably.The debate about the feasibility of screening for neuroblastoma continue, many Russian oncologists believe screening impractical.However, this does not prevent the parents themselves do the appropriate analysis of the child in the 6 months after the incidence of neuroblastoma in 2 times more likely than phenylketonuria screening being done in the hospital.

«syndrome of small signs": what to do

Malignant tumors in children cunning that often masquerade as other conditions: rickets, teething, SARS, bot ...

Parents noticed the child change behavior, fatigue, lethargy, decreasedof appetite, weight loss and other warning signs, you must first visit a pediatrician (should insist on a full examination, measurement of height, weight, abdominal palpation, lymph nodes, temperature measurement), deliver advanced blood test, urine test, do an ultrasound of the internal organs, consult withneurologist and ophthalmologist.If there is suspicion of a pediatrician prescribe X-rays of the chest, limbs.

This examination will in any case not out of place, and in the case of malignant process will identify it at an early stage, which will ensure the success of treatment and the prognosis is good.

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