Childhood Cancer Linked To Mother’s Health

The underlying cause of many forms of cancer are as varied as the cancers themselves. From smoking and environmental factors to genetics and diet, you can find any number of factors contributing to someone getting cancer. In the case of children, the root cause of the cancer can be a little harder to grasp because one of the biggest causes, a risky lifestyle, is off the table so doctors need to look much further to find the cancer trigger in children. Cancer in children occurs, in general, in kids aged 0-5 and is believed to start in the mother’s womb.

High Cure Rates in Kids

While the diagnosis of cancer in a child can be devastating to say the least, the cure rate for kids suffering from some form of cancer is about 3 in 4, which is remarkably high. In order to cure a child of cancer they generally go through the full course of treatments so as to make sure that the child doesn’t have any relapses. Medical advances in the areas of drug treatment and bone marrow transplantation have been key in treating childhood cancers. Medical experts note that cancer in children is generally acute and that symptoms are usually immediately seen and that the cancer can move quickly. At least 30% of all children with cancer have leukemia, with lymphoma and brain tumors following.

Check The Parents:

A recent study indicates that the health of the parents is linked to cancer in children, especially the health of the mother prior to and during pregnancy. Heavy drinking and smoking are said to be linked to a higher incidence of cancer in children and even in the case of father’s that smoke it has been found that their offspring have a higher probability of getting leukemia than the children of non-smokers. When these children are diagnosed with cancer the treatment will depend on several factors, particularly the type of cancer and the stage of development of the disease. It has been found that more than 50% of young cancer patients do not respond to drug therapy so bone marrow transplants are often required. However a bone marrow transplant is not an easy operation and does indeed come with many of its own risks. Bone marrow transplant surgery can be the difference between life and death for many child cancer patients but it is a last resort because of the extreme nature and risks involved with cleansing the bones of diseased marrow and transplanting it with marrow that will produce healthy white blood cells. Bone marrow treatment can last 3 – 4 years before it is completely over and does its job.

Follow-up Is Most Important

Doctors note that in dealing with children suffering from cancer, their follow-up visits to the doctor for additional therapy, check-ups, and consultations is key in ridding the child of cancer once and for all. In some instances, especially in bone marrow transplants that take a long time to work, parents will become despondent believing that their child’s case is incurable and therefore they can tend to lose hope and not follow-up with treatments. This is especially true in poor rural areas of the country and in less developed and developing countries. The cure rates for cancer in children are high but only with rigorous attention to the details involved in their long term treatments.

In finding that the health of the parents, especially the mother, is a key to keeping your child cancer-free doctors are simply reinforcing what they have known for quite some time. While there are many environmental triggers for cancer, these generally are not at the heart of childhood cancers. These environmental factors can indeed be a cause of poor health in a child’s parents so a greater emphasis on living a healthier life, especially if you are planning to have a family is a point of emphasis in the health care industry. Expectant mothers should not smoke and should keep drinking to a limit if at all. With cancer rates highest in those children whose mothers were smokers and drinkers it should be obvious to everyone that mothers who care about the health of their child should not drink or smoke during pregnancy.

However, should a childhood cancer be diagnosed, the doctor will inform both parents and everyone else involved with the care of the child about the type of cancer and the treatment necessary to cure it. The emphasis here is to educate everyone because while the child might be too young to understand the gravity of the disease, it is important that the family and caregivers understand it fully in order for them to lend moral and care support during treatment.

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