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80% of children with cancer manage to overcome the disease

80% of children with cancer manage to overcome the disease

I can imagine that having a child with cancer must be very hard to live, however, thanks to the new advances of the last 20 years, the80% of diagnosed children manage to overcome the disease.

According to a data from theSpanish Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (SEHOP), the survival of children between 0 and 14 years is much higher than that achieved in adults.

A couple of months ago my young son was hospitalized for a minor illness. He was admitted to a children's hospital, where there were children with diseases of all kinds, some more serious, others less.

To get to his room, he had to go through the children's cancer ward, hospitalized children with cancer and their families tried to carry their disease there with integrity and strength. Every day I felt enormous respect for these families and, above all, a huge feeling of gratitude that my children are healthy, whatever problems I might have seemed small.

I cannot even imagine what having a child with cancer may mean for a parent, however, one hopeful fact is that80% of diagnosed children manage to overcome the disease.

There are several factors that have helped more children recover from this disease:

- The creation of pediatric cancer units in hospitals and assistance centers. This allows specialized care for children.

- Advances in cancer diagnosis through magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography (PET).

- Standard treatments have been developed through different types of protocols.

Leukemias and central nervous system tumors, such as brain tumors or gliomas, are the most common types of cancer in childhood. According to World Health Organization (WHO), each year more than 27,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed in children under 14 years of age in the region of the Americas and an estimated 10,000 deaths are due to this disease. In Spain, 1,100 children are diagnosed each year with cancer.

However, it is excellent news that survival in children with cancer thanks to advances made in available treatments, has gone from 50% to 80% in the last 20 years.

Early diagnosis of childhood cancer is essential for these children with cancer. The signs and symptoms of childhood cancer depend on the type of disease or its location, although certain signs can help detect it:

- Abdominal mass or unusual swelling
- Prolonged fever with no apparent cause
- paleness, lack of energy and weight loss
- Prolonged headaches with no apparent cause
- Bleeding and bruising that come off easily
- Increased head size
- Whitish reflection in the eye

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