What is cancer

A cancer diagnosis is upsetting at any age, but especially so when the patient is a child. It's natural to have many questions, such as, Who should treat my child? Will my child get well? What does all of this mean for our family? Not all questions have answers, but the information and resources in this article provide a starting point for understanding the basics of childhood cancer.

In this article you will be able to find out more on the following:

Cancer  is a disease caused by the abnormal, chaotic and uncontrolled growth of cells in a particular organ or tissue, which leads to the appearance of a tumor (primary tumor), can spread throughout the body, leading to the formation of new tumors (metastases).

Types of Cancer in Children

Cancerul la copii se întîlnește destul de rar și reprezintă aproximativ 0, 5% — 1% din numărul total de cancere. Anual, circa 400 000 copii și adilescenți în lumea întreagă, adică 1 in 500 children, sunt diagnosticați cu diferite forme de cancer. În Republica Moldova, această cifră constituie în jur de 120 copii anual, ceea ce pentru țara noastră este foarte mult, iar datele statistice demonstrează că această rată este în creștere continuă.

Currently the survival rate of children with cancer is very high (approximately 75% of patients receiving specialized treatment are cured). In the case of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, for example, the five-year survival rate after treatment is about 83-85%.

Although cancer cure rates have raised significantly over the last decades, cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children ages 0 to 14 years are leukemias, brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and lymphomas.

Treating Childhood Cancer

Children's cancers are not always treated like adult cancers. Pediatric oncology is a medical specialty focused on the care of children with cancer. It's important to know that this expertise exists and that there are effective treatments for many childhood cancers.

Children's cancers are not infectious and cannot be transmitted from one child to another.

Cancers in children usually grow faster, are more aggressive, but usually respond better to treatment than in adults. There have been developed many types of cancer treatment worldwide. The types of treatment that a child with cancer receives will depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Common treatments applied to children include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant.

Effects of cancer treatments

Children face unique issues during their treatment for cancer, after the completion of treatment, and as survivors of cancer. These include emotional difficulties, digestive problems, problems in the oral region, learning difficulties, memory or concentration, etc.

Where children with cancer in the Republic of Moldova are treated

In the Republic of Moldova, children diagnosed with cancer are treated in the sole specialised medical ward of the Oncological Institute: Pediatric Oncology-Hematology Unit, which treats patients with oncological diseases of the blood and lymphatic system as well as patients with solid tumors. The treatment is free of charge for all children aged between 0 and 18 years.

The doctors and other health professionals at these units have special training and expertise to give complete care to children. Specialists are likely to include primary care physicians, pediatric medical oncologists/hematologists, pediatric surgical specialists, radiation oncologists, rehabilitation specialists, pediatric nurse specialists, and psychologists.

Rolul crucial al părinţilor

Parents play a crucial role in helping the child overcome the disease and go through treatment with minimal psychological effects. They need to help their child maintain self-esteem, give them hope, and reduce stress as much as possible while maintaining the elements of normalcy in their lives. Parents have a crucial role to play in providing love, support and alleviating the pain to which the child is exposed due to the disease and during treatment. It is necessary to involve and unify the whole family, and the support of the psychologist can be very helpful in this regard.

Cauzele apariţiei cancerului la copii

Cancer is rarely caused by a defective gene inherited and transmitted on within the family. It is not common for two children in a family to get cancer, this is quite rare. For most types of cancer in children, the causes are unknown.

It is thought that most cancers in children develop as a result of genetic mutations that lead to uncontrolled cell growth and eventually cancer. In adults, these genetic mutations reflect the cumulative effects of aging and long-term exposure to cancer-causing substances. However, identifying potential environmental causes of cancer in children has been difficult, in part because cancer is relatively rare in children and in part because it is difficult to determine the harmful stimuli to which children have been exposed at the beginning of their development.


It’s essential for childhood cancer survivors to receive follow-up care to monitor their health after completing treatment. All survivors should have a treatment summary and a survivorship care plan, which is called maintenance therapy.

Survivors of any kind of cancer can develop health problems months or years after cancer treatment, known as late effects, but late effects are of particular concern for childhood cancer survivors because treatment of children can lead to profound, lasting physical and emotional effects. Late effects vary with the type of cancer, the child’s age, the type of treatment, and other factors.

Sursa: https://www.cancer.gov/types/childhood-cancers

Similar news