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Overview

Risk Factors and Causes of Childhood Cancer

In recent years, scientists have begun to understand how certain changes in DNA can cause them to become cancer cells.

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Finding Cancer in Children

Some children have a higher chance of developing a specific type of cancer because of certain gene changes they inherit from a parent. These children may need careful, regular medical check-ups that include special tests to look for early cancer signs.

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Cancers that Develop in Children

Types of cancers that occur most in children are different from those seen in adults. The most common cancers of children are leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, neuroblastoma, wilms tumor,
lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma,
retinoblastoma, and bone cancer.

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Pediatric Cancer Guide

If your child has just been diagnosed with cancer, this short, simple guide can help.

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What are the Differences Between Cancer in Adults and Children?

The types of cancer that develop in children are often different from the types that develop in adults. Unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors.

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Cancer in Children and Adolescents

Although cancer in children is rare, over 15,000 children in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

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Pediatric cancer patient in hospital
Girl on a Swing

Coping with a Diagnosis

Helping Siblings of Children Diagnosed with Cancer

Brothers and sisters have their own fears. Sometimes they’re afraid that they might get sick, or may pick up parents’ anxieties.

Read More Cancer Guide for Teen Siblings
Helping Your Child Adjust to a Cancer Diagnosis

Children and teenagers respond to cancer diagnoses with a range of emotions that often reflects those of their parents.

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Helping Your Child Understand a Cancer Diagnosis

It can be tempting to not tell children about cancer, but most children will sense something is wrong with them. Being honest about the diagnosis tends to lessen stress,
guilt, and confusion.

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How to Cope When Your Child is Diagnosed with Cancer

In a situation when your child is diagnosed with cancer, almost any feelings you experience are normal.

Read More Parent's Guide to Children with Cancer
What to Say if Your Child Asks About Dying

When you talk with children about their cancer diagnosis, they might ask if they are going to die, directly or indirectly.

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Treatment

Treating Children with Cancer

Treatment for childhood cancer is based mainly on the type and stage of the cancer. The main types of treatment used for childhood cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

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Who Treats Children With Cancer?

Experts from different disciplines are a part of the cancer team that helps patients and families. There are also many professionals and specialists who may work with your child or family.

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How to Talk to Your Child's Cancer Team

Cancer treatment and follow-up care are intense and complex.
Everyone involved must have confidence and trust in one another and be able to work well together.

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Helping Your Child Manage School During Cancer Treatment

Though it may not seem important in light of everything else going on, continuing to be a part of the school community should be a priority.

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Getting Back to Normal After Your Child Finishes Cancer Treatment

Most families are able to find a “new normal” after a child’s cancer.
It takes time to adjust after treatment ends.

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Returning to School After Cancer Treatment

If your child isn’t able to attend school while undergoing cancer treatment, you can speak with the cancer team and social worker to get some ideas about how your child will return to school.

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Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment

Most treatment side effect appear during or just after treatment and go away a short time later. But some problems might not go away or might not show up until months or years after treatment.

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Late and Long-term Effects of Cancer Treatment on Children

It’s important to realize that close follow-up care is a central part of the cancer process that offers children the best chance for recovery and long-term survival.

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Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors

While the completion of your child’s cancer treatment is something to celebrate, it may also bring new challenges.

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When a Cure is No Longer Possible for Your Child

Parents never want to thing that the day will come when their child is no longer with them. Yet, when a child is very ill, parents often think about what they will do or what they should consider as their child becomes more ill.

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Schoolboy and dog