Childhood cancers can be classified into three categories:
1. Leukemia (Blood cancers)
There are different types of Leukemia, which require a specific diagnosis for effective treatment. Leukemia tampers with the normal blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets), which are made in the bone marrow. The cancer cells multiply fast leaving no room for the normal cells.
When the red blood cells (RBCs), whose function is to transport oxygen in the body are low, it could lead to:
• Heart failure
• Child gasping for breath
• When the brain is deprived of oxygen, the child could faint or collapse.
• Pale body and white eyes.
When the white blood cells (WBCs), whose purpose is to fight infection goes low, infections increase. Further, decreased platelets can cause the child to start bleeding from every opening in the body. They can also bleed from the gums or in their poop.
2. Lymphomas (cancers affecting the glands)
This is from glands in the lymphatic system, whose exclusive value is to contain infections in the body. The lymphatic fluid flows through the lymphatic system, which is linked to the liver and spleen.
The cancers are characterised by swollen glands in different parts of the body, which can spread to the brain, bone marrow and other parts of the body. Swellings arise from affected organs.
3. Solid Tumors
These can appear on an exposed part of the body or inside the body. The presentation depends on the affected body part. Tumors can appear on the hands, legs or brain. Common childhood tumors include; brain tumors, eye cancer and kidney tumors.