Last week’s fact was about common forms of childhood cancer. A friend of mine asked about signs and symptoms. So I gave her a quick answer and have been looking for more details this week. In my case my father noticed that my brother was breathing “funny” in his sleep which lead him to request some testing; my god-daughter had been complaining of headaches and it wasn’t until she passed out at school that the tumor was found in her brain. Here’s some information I found from Be Child Cancer Aware:
Continued, unexplained weight loss
Headaches, often with early morning vomiting
Increased swelling or persistent pain in bones, joints, back or legs
Lump or mass, especially in the abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis, or armpits
Development of excessive bruising, bleeding, or rash
A whitish colour behind the pupil
Nausea which persists or vomiting without nausea
Constant tiredness or noticeable paleness
Eye or vision changes which occur suddenly and persist
Recurrent and persistent fevers of unknown origin
The American Cancer Society states:
Most of these symptoms are much more likely to be caused by something other than cancer, such as an injury or infection. Still, if your child has any of these symptoms, check with your doctor so that the cause can be evaluated and treated, if needed.
Remember child cancer is not as common as we may think. Blood tests and other scans are necessary for a diagnosis. So just be aware and go with your instinct. If you think something is unusual get it checked by a doctor. Cancer can sneak up on you.