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Cancer Second 'Killer' of Children

Medical statistics show: malignant tumor has become the second top killer of Chinese children under 14 years old, said sources with Tianjin Tumor Hospital.


As expert introduced, incidence rate of cancer in children is 104 per million as 0.6 percent of the total of malignant tumor. Although the incidence rate is not high, yet the mortality is 10.7 percent of the total death rate. Children at various age groups, including newborns are all likely to have cancer and the suffering part includes various systems of the body. And the morbidity has shown a tendency of rising.


Children's malignant tumor mostly are developed from immature embryonic tissue, the incidence rate in order is leucocythemia, central nervous system tumor, malignant lymphoma, gonioma tumor, osteosarcoma etc. People have not realized that lack of attention to the some children's tumor deprives them chance of recovery. A boy younger than three years old with osteosarcoma was turned to lifelong disabled because of late treatment when he went to hospital as he had difficulty in raising arms.


Expert pointed out, although children tumor has high rate of malignance, and rapid disease development, the aggregate recovery rate can be as high as 60 percent since children are sensitive to medicine and radiation, which are therefore more effective. The curative rate for adults is less than 50 percent. However, whether malignant tumor can be cured depends on both the characteristics of the tumor itself and also on early diagnosis and a timely and correct treatment. Since most children can not express accurately their feelings or correctly understand the importance of the disease and treatment or cooperate with the treatment, it is especially important for parents to have correct understanding and judgment.


The expert warned, as to cancer, besides visible, a few early clues are also very important, and it is often parents to discover the clues. Therefore parents should remain highly alert of the early symptoms, neither too sensitive nor too careless or even delay the diagnosis for fear of tumor.


Symptoms of children's tumor are: fever with no identified reason for a long time, especially fever which can not be cured by anti-virus or and antibiotics; gradually increasingly serious anaemia not caused by malnutrition or parasite, facial pale; haemorrhage with reasons not identified, including gingival haemorrhage, blood spot and extravasated speckles; long-term continuous or periodical headache, stomachache, ache in joints etc; some nervous symptoms for example headache, vomiting, unsteady walking, facial paralysis and tic etc; reachable tumor for example in the neck, armpit, groin, back waist; strabismus, protrusive eyeballs etc eyesight disability; liver, spleen swelling; over high or low white blood cell count in blood routine examination or decreasing of blood platelet and red blood cells.


(People's Daily April 15, 2004)




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