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Childhood Cancer Awareness
Nov 2016
Dr Vikas Goswami
Sr. Consultant Oncologist, Delhi

Childhood Cancer Facts
According to data published in the Indian Journal of Cancer, it is estimated that approximately 45,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year. The common forms of cancers found in children are leukaemia, brain tumours, lymphoma, abdominal tumours, and muscle and bone tumours.

Easily available packed or junk food, not doing enough exercises, prolonged sitting, obesity, drinking too much alcohol or cigarette smoking are exposing adults to cancer. But even though lifestyle plays a pivotal role in the overall health of an individual, when it comes to childhood cancer, these factors don’t affect much. Also, cancer cases in teenagers and adults are biologically very different.

Causes Of Childhood Cancer
A few studies and past researches has shown that smoking in the presence of children does affect their health and might increase their risk of cancer, but there isn’t much proof available. Also, environmental factors like radiation exposure, too much exposure to pollution or environmental disasters like the Bhopal gas tragedy, have been linked to some childhood cancers.

Apart from environmental factors, a family history of cancer could also affect the future generation and expose them to cancer. Also, parent’s genes increases the risk of certain types of cancer in children or sometimes they can cause a syndrome which creates developmental problems.

Why Family Support Is Important
As children respond differently to the cancer treatment as compared to adults, if your child has been diagnosed with cancer then as a parent, you need to be very strong to be able to stand by your child. Coping with your child’s cancer and staying strong by his/her side can be very challenging for family members.