Childhood Cancers

20.7.2016 11:27:00

Cancer is a disease that cells grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. As a result of diffusing of abnormal cells, tumors may occur. The cause of cancer is not certainly known yet. However, it is known that for children younger than 5 years, prenatal factors play an important role whereas for children older than 5 years old, environment plays a key role.


Childhood cancer is more rare than adulthood cancers. Also, some types of cancer can only be seen on children instead of adults or reverse. The recovery rate of childhood cancer is more than adulthood cancers. The recent studies showed that blood cancer has 80%, lymph node cancer has 80-90%, eye tumor has 80%, kidney tumor has 90%, muscle and bone tumors have 70% of recovery rate.


The kid diagnosed with cancer and his family may develop some psychological processes. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the first reaction of the family becomes denial. They think that it can be a wrong diagnosis and refuse the disease. After this ohase of shock, family begins to question whether they made wrong or not. They keep searching if ultrasonography or smoking during pregnancy affected the child to become cancer. However, the reaserches didn’t support that idea. Also, it is found that there is no effect of genetic factors or the child care. However, all these thoughts make feel the family desperate, guilty, and angry.


A different era begins both for the child and the family after the diagnosis. They both may begin to experience a phase with different psychological reactions when the physical and environmental factors change. It is important both for the family and the child to have psychological support during treatment. The biggest problem for the family is the uncertainty of treatment process. During this process, the responsibility of the family increases and the freedom becomes limited. All these uncertainties create fear and worry in family. The fear of relapse may cause the family to feel hopeless, even if the treatment works. Long-term treatment causes exhaustion and depression on the parents.


The parents of a child with cancer experiences high level of emotional stress. Also, when the child experiences the pain and fear during treatment, parent dependency increases. Children, who must live in a certain environment during treatment, become fragile psychologically. Also, some physical effects, such as loss of hair, make them lose interest in going to school. On the other hand, the most affected group during treatment is the sister/brother of the child with cancer. They experience both fear for their brother/sister and lack of care from their parents. So, they feel themselves lonely.


After the diagnosis of cancer, parents should be positive to the child. The positive support given to the child, makes him feel motivated and increases faith of recovery. Also, sharing the assay results and answering all the questions the child asked, would be effective for the child to accept the treatment phase.





Reference: Kaçuv, Çocuk Kanseri. Prof.Dr. İnci Yıldız (2015)

web site izmir