What Are The Different Types of Childhood Cancer?
There will be approximately 15,780 children diagnosed with cancer this year. Most of those diagnoses will be one of twelve main types of cancer and further defined by hundreds of subgroups.
Ewing Sarcoma: A type of cancer that usually appears in adolescent’s bones.
Leukemia: Accounts for 29% of all childhood cancer. Can cause bone and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, or fever.
Brain Cancers: Accounts for 26% of all childhood cancers and can cause headaches, blurred vision, seizures, dizziness, and difficulty walking.
Hepatoblastoma: A rare solid tumor in the liver with only 50-70 new cases diagnosed in the US each year.
Neuroblastoma: A solid cancer of the nerve tissue and adrenal glands. It can also be present in the chest, spinal cord, or nerve tissue near the neck. Roughly two-thirds of neuroblastoma cases present before the age of five.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Hodgkin Lymphoma: Cancers that develop in the lymph system (which connects the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, and groin with the spleen, thymus, stomach, and small intestines) are referred to as lymphomas.
Osteosarcoma: This is the most common type of bone tissue cancer in children. It is typically found in the bones around the knee.
Rhabdomyosarcoma: A rhabdoid tumor is a rare tumor typically found in the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls movement and balance) of young children.
Retinoblastoma: This is the most common eye tumor in children and typically is found before the age of five. Unlike many other types of childhood cancers, about 40% of cases are hereditary.
Sarcomas: Soft tissue tumors that appear in the muscle, fat, tissue, tendons, or blood vessels of children. The majority of tumors are found in the head and neck but they can also be found in the arms, legs, chest, and lungs.
Spinal Cord Tumors: These tumors occur in the spinal cord and can press on the healthy tissue that’s present - meaning it can’t function as normal. As the tumor grows, the symptoms can vary and develop as normal functioning becomes increasingly limited.
Wilms Tumor: This is the most common type of childhood kidney cancer resulting from kidney cells that do not properly develop at birth. This is the third most common childhood cancer.
Childhood cancers are rarely the same ones we commonly see in adults and for many of them, it's unclear what causes the cancer to form. Treatments for even the most common childhood cancers are years behind adult treatments and are often significantly harsher and more rigorous on kid's young, developing, bodies.
You can learn more about the different types of childhood cancers from the American Childhood Cancer Organization and the American Cancer Society.