Each year, about 1,800 children suffer from cancers in France, or 1 child in 600. The treatment and support of these young patients have improved but are still insufficient, according to the associations of families of patients. On the occasion of the world cancer day of the child, which will be held February 15, Doctissimo takes stock of the current situation.

Cancers of young people under 15 years old are rare and represent only 1% of all cancers. They are often ignored and their support is harder that support developed for adults is not necessarily suitable for the youngest.

Childhood cancers

Childhood cancer is rare
Each year, about 1,800 children and adolescents suffer from cancer, although the cure rate has increased these past 30 years, from 25% to 80%. This is the 2nd cause of mortality in the child over the age of 1 year (after accidents), causing 500 deaths per year.

Unlike adults, environmental factors are little implicated in the development of pediatric cancers. However, it can evoke the influence of radiation and some chemical agents to which the woman would be exposed before or during pregnancy, as well as the possible role of some infectious agents, such as HIV or hepatitis B virus.

The tumor in the child has the characteristic to develop quickly and the child keeps a good general State of health. Once the diagnosis is made, therapeutic treatment is developed, ideally in a multidisciplinary way and by pediatric specialists.

A difficult young patients support
Childhood cancers are treated in the same way as those of adults: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy… But the treatment must be adapted to young patients. The use of radiation must be very finely controlled: the sick are still growing, the rays have deleterious effects on cartilage or endocrine system. Brain irradiation can also cause intellectual sequelae. Children are also much more sensitive to chemotherapy, which explains the higher chances of cure.

The cure rates of pediatric cancers so tripled in 30 years and is currently about 80% compared with slightly more than 50% in adults. The child is declared in full remission when no longer traces detectable tumor by clinical examination or Imaging. It must also be that there’s more abnormalities in the bone marrow, blood and/or urine. We speak of healing once the period of relapse is complete: varies from 1 to 10 years, depending on the type and severity of the cancer.

However, other pathologies may appear later: in addition to recidivism, there is a risk of long-term toxicity. Imposed to fight cancer can affect the body by temporarily or permanently.

Support for pain is difficult: medicines for adults are not necessarily on the younger. These are fast-growing and currently have no medicines adapted and designed by age group. In addition, doctors may face difficulties to relieve a child, who may be unable to speak and explain his level of pain.

Optimize the accompaniment of the child and the entourage
For the past 30 years, the support of the child and his family has improved including through the actions of associations of parents of sick and the Cancer plan. However, there are still opportunities for improvement: “the accompaniment of the sick child should be more structured so that the family can stay with him. “Progress must be made, less on care than on the support and quality of life” explains Catherine Vergely, Présidente de l’Association UNAPECLE1 and Executive Director of the ISIS2association. “We must also better organisation about allowances and schooling of children” she says.

Brothers and sisters also suffer from the fact that one of them is ill. This is still not taken into account: “it takes a project to support the siblings, which is in great suffering. There is no hospital facilities that deal with the brothers and sisters, these are associations that arrange in’ says Ms. Vergely.

adminCancerHealth CareHealth TipsPrevent Diseasecancer cure,cancer plan,cancer support groups,cancer symptoms,childhood cancer,childhood cancer is rare,pediatric cancers,symptoms of cancer,treatment of cancer
Each year, about 1,800 children suffer from cancers in France, or 1 child in 600. The treatment and support of these young patients have improved but are still insufficient, according to the associations of families of patients. On the occasion of the world cancer day of the child, which...