As per the latest study by the British Medical Journal, most parents are unaware of the critical signs of childhood cancer. As per the study, 68% of British adults cannot identify the critical signs to look out for, and less than half can list down the common symptoms despite approaching the 4,000 new cases of cancers in the age group below 24 every year in the UK alone.
Dr. Shaarna Shanmugavadivelia, the study’s co-author, has said that the least recognized symptoms of childhood cancers are early or late puberty, slow growth, and developmental delay in infants. However, there are many more things to look out for, such as difficulty swallowing, persistent and recurrent headaches, and regular vomiting.
Apart from this, Weight loss is another red flag. With a change in bowel habits and a young person struggling to walk or balance and blood in urine, if your young one has any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s time to consult a health care expert immediately. However, as per the study, around 43% said they would wait before asking for medical help.
Dr. Shanmugavadivelia of Nottingham University’s School of Medicine has said that public and professional awareness has been marked as the key strategy for diagnosing early cancer. Still, there is not much focus on childhood cancers. Due to the rare cancers in the children, people don’t focus much on the cancer in the children. Also, the number of cancer cases in children is too small compared to adult ones. However, people need to spread awareness as they take the common symptoms of other diseases and ignore that there might be cancer.
As per the study on childhood cancers, it has been confirmed that the most common symptoms include lump or swelling in the pelvis, breast, or testicle and blood after a visit to the toilet; let’s know other symptoms of cancers in children.
Symptoms of Childhood Cancer
- Lump, swelling in the pelvis, testicle, or breast
- Unexplained bleeding between periods
- Fever and night sweats
- Lump or swelling in the face, jaw, or scull
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest wall or armpits
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lump in chest or armpits
- Unexplained weak/limp leg
- Unexplained bone or joint swelling/pain
- Parental instinct: something is wrong
- Persistent/recurrent headache
- Unexplained screaming in young children
- A change in bowel habits: constipation or diarrhea
- Recurrent sore throat
- Blood in urine
- Head tilt/sore neck
- Persistent or recurrent tummy pain
- One or two white pupils
- Persistent/recurrent tiredness
- Hearing loss
- Difficulty passing urine
- Abnormal eye movements
- Weight loss
- Abnormal facial movements
- Vision issues
- Persistent earache
- Loss of appetite
- Limited mouth opening
- Swollen glands on the side of the neck
- Slow in recovery after bone injury.
- Changes to moles
- Developmental delay
- Struggling to walk or balance
- Early or late puberty
- Persistent vomiting
- Persistent recurrent bone pain (worse at night)
- Tummy pain or mass
- Noticeable skin paleness
- Excessive bleeding/bruising/rash
- Multiple bounds of flu
These are the symptoms of childhood cancer. If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, consult your healthcare expert. As said above, having one of the symptoms does not mean that your little one has cancer, but if it remains for a long time, you should consult your health experts to avoid any serious health concerns.