CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
As the month of September comes to a close, we leave you with some tips on signs and symptoms of the more common childhood cancers. In Saint Lucia, over the past 15 years, we have seen approximately 24 cases of childhood cancers. Many our kids are transferred overseas for treatment to centres that specialize in these cancers. The more common cancers in kids are acute lymphocytic/lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia and neuroblastomas.
Children cancers differ from adult cancers in several ways. Most importantly they form because of abnormalities during the formation of the foetus while in-utero (in the womb). Many of these abnormalities are because of genetic mutations. In adults, most of our cancers are because of the effect of things in our environment over time – the food we eat, radiation from the sun or other sources, lack of exercise, cigarette smoke, alcohol etc. Most childhood cancers respond very well to chemotherapy and the other treatments, with a good outcome.