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Pediatric Cancer: What to do if Your Child is Diagnosed

Anybody who has ever had a loved one who has dealt with cancer knows the feelings of helplessness and fear that can occur upon a diagnosis. But when it comes to a child being diagnosed, that’s a whole other level of devastation. Due to today’s technology, more than 80 percent of kids with cancer now survive for five years or more. Still, pediatric cancer is the second leading cause of death in people younger than 15 years of age. Here are the major types of cancer that affect children and what to do if your son or daughter is ever diagnosed. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia This is the most common type of cancer in kids and accounts for more than 30 percent of all pediatric cases. Symptoms include bones and joint pain, fever, weight loss, weakness, and bleeding. Brain Tumors This makes up about 27 percent of childhood cancers. Signs include headaches, balance issues, vision or hearing problems and frequent vomiting. Wilms Tumor Wilms tumors occur in the kidneys and cause swelling of the belly, fever, pain, and poor appetite. The disease is typically found in kids that are ages three to four. When Your Child has Cancer Dealing with a diagnosis of cancer can be very, very tough to do. There will be many emotions that will run through your head. Some things to keep in mind when you first receive the diagnosis are: It will be a crisis for the entire family Ways to improve coping include getting help from a support group or cancer team, involving others and taking the time to care for yourself Get a second...