We may sometimes look at children and see smaller versions of ourselves, but deep down, we know that children have needs and medical issues much different than our own. The healthcare professionals who specialize in pediatric care are very aware of this. They know that childhood diseases, including cancer, are much different than those that adults suffer from.
Childhood cancers are much less common than those that afflict adults; they account for only a small percentage of diagnosed cases of cancer. In adult cases, there are certain aspects of a person’s lifestyle (smoking, diet, and alcohol use) that are known to increase their risk of developing cancer. In children, the causes of the disease are largely unknown.
The types of cancers seen in children and adults also tend to vary. The most common cancers diagnosed in children are brain tumors, bone cancer, lymphomas, and leukemia. While these types also occur in adults, they tend to be diagnosed at a much lower rate than lung, prostate, colon, and pancreatic cancers. Some types can occur in adults that almost never affect children, and some affect children that are rarely found in adults.
In the past two decades, there has been an increase in the number of children diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately, the death rate has decreased due to access to improved specialized care and cancer management.
Childhood cancers are rare and need specialized treatment. At West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, our health care professionals have continuing experience with the management of these diseases. If you would like more information about our Cancer Center or our other services, please call us at (818) 676-4000 or visit our website.