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Cancer: Myths About Childhood Cancer

Children are very less likely to develop cancer since their cells are still developing and are very potent to repair and heal the DNA if harmed. Despite this, cancer exists among children as well. Here are some myths around it

Cancer: Myths About Childhood Cancer

Cancer is not contagious and therefore cannot be passed from one person to another

Childhood cancer is a diagnosis that definitely sends chills down the spine of any parent on hearing it. There are numerous myths about it, so we find it an opportunity in this article to debunk all these myths and learn the true facts.

Cancer has always been presumed to be a diagnosis in the elderly population. Our body has an ability to correctly duplicate cells which deteriorate with time. Our cells divide and replace with the old one, which is a natural process. When a cell's DNA is damaged the replication process may get disrupted and misinterpreted causing it to multiply uncontrollably giving rise to a population of highly unruly auto proliferative population of cells. They do not perform functions set by the law of nature, hence it become destructive to the body.

Tumours can obstruct the function of essential organs that they grow on or near and utilize the energy destined for normal tissue, thereby disrupting the equilibrium of the body. When these cells' spread' through the lymphatic system or blood arteries, they produce new tumours in other parts of the body, which can be very fatal and life threatening.

Children are very less likely to develop cancer since their cells are still developing and are very potent to repair and heal the DNA if harmed. Despite this, cancer exists among children as well.

Below are the points to bust all the myths about cancer in children:

1. Cancer is contagious

Unlike the flu, cancer is not contagious and therefore cannot be passed from one person to another. It is crucial to note, however, that children who receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy have weakened immune systems and are more susceptible to infection by microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that cause a variety of infectious disorders.

2. Cancers in children are inherited from their parents

Even while all malignancies are caused by genetic mistakes in one's cells, this does not mean that one's parents are to blame. According to current studies, only around 2% of all paediatric cancers are inherited, and majority of cancers in children are caused by random mutations.

3. Curability is very low in childhood cancer

With decades of scientific research and developments, doctors are now able to apply specific combinations of treatment methods such as chemotherapy surgery, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy. This treatment methods are adopted for a better chance of survival. Childhood cancers on an average have 80 % -90% curability rate, when compared to adult cancer, thanks to the growing and robust immunity and health.

4. Cancer survivors don't require any additional treatment

Survivors must get ongoing follow-up care. They are more likely to acquire chronic health concerns as a result of their first cancer therapy if they do not receive follow-up surveillance.

It is critical to monitor young children on a regular basis to ensure that they remain healthy and cancer-free and also long-term chronic side effects free.

5. Tumours are all malignant

Although tumours are formed by most malignancies, not all tumours are malignant. Tumours are classified as either benign or malignant. Benign tumours are benign growths that remain in the same place in the body for an extended period of time. Malignant tumours, on the other hand, can spread to other parts of the body and are more deadly and surprisingly certain malignant form require simple surgery or minimal treatment if detected at the right time!!!

6. Never tell children directly about they have cancer

We are living in an age of information and our children deserve to know what they're facing. It may be difficult, but this could actually provide the best opportunity for education - when one diagnosis with cancer childhood is announced there's no better time than now! So that we have brave warrior in his/ her full strength to fight this deadly disease and definitely helps them to see life beyond cancer.

7. Children who's having cancer will never have normal lives

Childhood cancer is a significant event in the life of any child, but it doesn't always have to be stopping them from experiencing all that childhood has offered. With support and guidance many have proven their ability not just survive this trying time yet succeed later on with healthy lives filled by opportunity.

Some things are too difficult for children's minds even though they're strong enough physically- mentally demanding work can often leave scars which may never heal but fact remains, that time heals all the scars.

8. Loss of hair in children due to chemotherapy is permanent

Not et all infact its transient phenomenon once their plan treatment is completed they get back a new set stronger healthier and lustrous

9. Childhood cancer brings down their immunity forever

During treatment these children have lower immunity but once treatment is completed and free of their disease in a matter of few months they get back their immunity status just as their normal contemporaries

10. Childhood cancer survivors have fertility issues and cannot reproduce

There are many survivors who have normal reproductive course as due precautions are taken while planning the treatment that childs fertility is not affected and so they can have a family of their own with normal offsprings.

(Dr Prerana Nesargi, Paediatric Oncologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital)

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