Annually, approximately 11,200 children in the Unites States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer. Childhood cancers often differ from those encountered in adults. The most common are:
A few childhood cancers can be hereditary, but unlike many cancers of adults, there are no avoidable risk factors like smoking or exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace that are known to influence a child's risk of getting cancer.
Cancers in children are often hard to recognize. Parents should be sure that their children have regular medical check-ups and watch for unusual signs or symptoms that do not go away. These include:
Childhood cancers can be treated with a combination of therapies that are chosen based on the type and stage of cancer. Treatment options may include chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy. There are some exceptions, but childhood cancers usually respond well to chemotherapy. Because of earlier detection and major treatment advances approximately 80% of children with cancer will survive 5 years or more.
Source: American Cancer Society. Cancer in Children. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2010