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Cancer: Causes and Treatments

The causes that lead to the appearance of cancer in children and teenagers are different from the ones in adults. They are much more tied to genetic factors than to the exposition to carcinogen environments.


In approximately from 10 to 15% of the cases, some other cases in the family are recognised, or the kid had a genetic illness that leads to a higher tendency to determined types of cancer, for example, the Down syndrome, in which the carriers have more chances of developing leukemia. 

Other factors associated with the appearance of cancer at this age would be: exposition to ionizing radiation, virus (Epstein-Barr), intrauterine exposition to hormones (diethylstilbestrol). Comparing to adults, there is no specific routine examination associated with these ages that can be carried out to detect early cancer in children or in the general population.

The most important is for every child to have periodical follow-ups by a paediatrician, as recommended by the WHO, and that the ones in charge notify this paediatrician if they suspect of any sign that the child presents. This professional has to be able to examine carefully and suspect of cancer in case necessary, and therefore guide them to the convenient specialised centre, even without certainty of the diagnosis.

 

Types:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Cerebral: Gliomas, cerebellar and cereblar astrocytomas medulloblastoma 
- Ewing’s sarcoma or Ewing’s family tumours
- Germ Cell tumours
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma 
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Neuroblastoma 
- Liver cancer
- Osteosarcoma / Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone
- Retinoblastoma 
- Rhabdomyosarcoma  
- Wilms’ tumour
- Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma

 

Treatment:

 

In childhood cancer, as well as in the adult one, the treatment is based on the use chemotherapy associated with surgery and radiotherapy. The use of these methods depends on the type of spreading of the diagnosed illness. 
However, there is a crucial difference between the treatment in children and teenagers in relation to the on in adults: we can’t forget that we are dealing with people in growth and development phase. Radiotherapy and even the use of toxic drugs in the organism can lead, in the long term, to disastrous consequences for the future of the child, such as low height or even a second cancer. This makes the fight against cancer even more challenging and stimulates the research of new more efficient and less aggressive methods of treatment.

 

 

Prevention advice:

- Balanced diet
- Self-examination: Mouth, breast, testicles, skin 
- Use of sunscreen
- Intimate hygiene
- Periodic medical examination

 

Patient's rights:
- Request retirement
- Release the FGTS (Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Serviço)

- Being exempt from Income Tax
- Being exempt from ICMS and IPI for the adquisition of special vehicles
- Free public transport for low-income earners 
- Reconstructive plastic surgery (breasts)