Cancer is the name we give to the group of diseases in which the body’s cells begin to multiply in an uncontrolled and abnormal way.
There are more than 200 types of cancer, but only a few occur in childhood and adolescence.
Anemia without an apparent cause. In some cases it may be accompanied by bone pain.
Prolonged fever without reason or that happens irregularly: it appears and disappears.
Lumps that grow painlessly and are present even without an inflammatory condition.
Pain in bones or joints. It may or may not be accompanied by swelling on the body.
Headache that doesn’t get better with the use of analgesics. It may be accompanied by vomiting.
Weight loss for no apparent reason.
Stains that appear without trauma to the area. They can be yellow, red and purple.
White reflection in the pupils, seen mainly in photos with flash, famous “cat’s eye”.
Swollen belly. It may come along with pain, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation.
Bleeding or hemorrhage, which can occur through the nose, gums, urine or feces.
Fatigue when making any small effort, activity or play.
Nausea that may be accompanied by vomiting and headache.
Eye growth. There may be a purple stain at the site.
Cancer that affects white blood cells, the famous leukocytes. The bone marrow begins to multiply abnormal cells, which replace healthy blood cells.
The most common leukemias in children and adolescents are:
• Acute Lymphoid Leukemia (ALL).
• Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
• Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML).
It is the type of cancer in the lymphatic system. It develops when lymphatic cells begin to modify and multiply without control. Lymphomas are classified according to cell type, size, shape and pattern.
The types of lymphoma are:
• Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
• Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Central Nervous System tumors, or brain tumors, develop from the growth of abnormal cells in a child’s or adolescent’s brain.
The most common type of childhood cancer in this area is medulloblastoma, among children aged 4 to 9 years.
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. The regions that most occur are: knee, femur and shoulder.
One of the symptoms is bone pain, often confused with growing pains. That’s why it’s very important to stay alert, if the pain persists, investigate!
Nephroblastoma is cancer that originates in the kidney. The most common in children is Wilms Tumor, but it is important to know that there are other rare kidney tumors such as mesoblastic nephroma.
Rare or common, most of the time it is possible to feel an abdominal mass, which is a warning sign.
Hepatoblastoma is a type of cancer that develops in the liver. It usually happens in children aged 0 to 4 years and is more common in boys.
Several tests can help with the diagnosis. Ultrasonography of the abdomen, aka belly, is an excellent start to investigate!
Type of cancer that begins in neuroblasts, which are embryonic cells, and affects nervous tissue and the adrenal glands. It is the most common tumor in children up to 1 year of age and is sometimes present from birth.
Although the name sounds like it is a brain tumor, we have to remember that neuro is the nervous system.
Ewing sarcoma is a tumor that occurs mainly in bones or in the soft tissue around bones. It is most common in the leg, pelvis, ribs or arm.
The symptoms are very similar to those of sprained or ruptured ligaments. Therefore, it is important to always keep an eye on symptoms that do not improve.
Rhabdomyosarcoma arises from cells that should become muscle, but instead become this type of cancer. Rhabdomyosarcoma is part of the group of soft tissue sarcomas.
Normally it is a mass on the body that does not hurt and grows quickly.
Retinoblastoma is retinal cancer and usually affects children up to five years of age. It can often be detected in photos, when the child has a white eye when using the flash, also known as cat’s eye.
Germ cell tumors can be gonadal, when they are located in the ovaries and testes, or extragonadal, when they develop outside the gonads.
They are not so common, but they can occur in part of the chest, between the pectoral and spine, in the coccyx, abdomen and pelvis.
he anatomopathological, or histopathological, examination is one that cannot be missed when cancer is suspected. From the sample taken through the biopsy, a microscopic evaluation is carried out to provide accurate diagnosis.
Bone scintigraphy is a non-invasive test to detect different types of cancer. Using radioactive medicines, it is possible to identify abnormalities in internal organs, helping to intervene as soon as possible.
The echocardiogram, despite not determining the diagnosis, is an essential test to see if the heart function is up to date.
Electroencephalogram, or EEG, examines the electrical activity of the brain, that is, how it is working. It is used when brain tumors are suspected, such as medulloblastoma.
A blood test, or blood culture, helps check for tumor markers in the blood. In some types of cancer, this test helps in the diagnosis.
A lumbar puncture, or CSF puncture, is necessary to collect cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, from the spinal cord. In the case of suspected tumors affecting the central nervous system, such as medulloblastoma, an examination is essential.
The myelogram is a diagnostic test that evaluates the functioning of the bone marrow. If leukemia and lymphoma are suspected, a myelogram must be requested.
PET scan, or PET-CT, is an imaging test used to investigate and diagnose cancer, as well as to monitor the evolution of cancer during the patient’s treatment.
The x-ray, or radiography, is important to help diagnose bone tumors, such as osteosarcoma.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a type of imaging test that determines the size and location of the tumor. It is useful to see the tumors in the organs, but not the effects they are having on the body.
Computed tomography shows the details of images of organs, bones and soft tissues. It can be done with or without contrast, depending on each case. It is an excellent method to assist in diagnosis!
Ultrasound is one of the tests that can monitor the patient since the investigation period. It is often from this that it is possible to see changes in the organs, helping in the diagnosis of some types of cancer, such as neuroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.
”Patient with suspected cancer”, “patient in bed 8”, “patient’s mother”, “daddy”, is not good.
Call the patient and companions by their names. If you have any doubts about how to pronounce them, you can ask.
A gente sabe que muitas vezes é difícil ter privacidade, mas evite conversar no corredor, na recepção, de pé e com pressa.
Procure um lugar calmo e silencioso, sente e acolha seu paciente.
Family, dog, cat, chicken – as the Brazilian band “Titãs” said.
Family is who you consider to be your family. And the patient’s too. Ask who the people in the family and their support network are.
Don’t act as if the child or teenager wasn’t there.
He can help you by telling you what he is feeling, where it hurts, what bothers you. Unless age or condition prevents this communication.
Terms such as “fight”, “warrior”, bring a warlike vision, of gain and loss, generating demands and anguish in patients.
Prefer to use terms such as “treatment”, “procedures”, “next steps”.
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