Pediatric oncology

A diagnosis of cancer often causes much anxiety and grief in everyone.This is more so when the patient is a young child. If a child is diagnosed with cancer, it has a big impact on the whole family. It is important to remember that it’s not the parents/ caregiver’s fault that the child has cancer and it’s not because of anything they’ve done or anything they have not done.

Pediatric oncology is a medical specialty focused on the care of children with cancer.In India, cancer is the 9th common cause for the deaths among children between 5 and 14 years of age.

The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children ages 0 to 14 years are leukemias, brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors and Lymphomas.The causes of most childhood cancers are not known. Approximately 5 percent of all cancers in children are caused by an inherited mutation (a genetic mutation that can be passed from parents to their children).Majority of the cancers in children are thought to develop as a result of mutations in genes that lead to uncontrolled cell growth and eventually cancer.

Childhood cancer needs multidisciplinary, holistic care to ensure appropriate and individualized treatment .Improving outcomes for children with cancer requires early and accurate diagnosis followed by effective treatment.

Treatment of childhood cancers are one of the success stories in the history of medical oncology. In 1970s, less than 10% of all children diagnosed with cancers used to get cured with the available therapy. Now in 2019, more than 80% of all childhood malignancies can be treated effectively and cured.The treatment that a child with cancer receives will depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is.After clinical evaluation, Diagnostic and staging investigations often direct the further treatment which may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant.

During such intensive therapy, quite often children may have to be hospitalised for prolonged periods or be reviewed by the doctor in clinic with Frequent blood investigations.Children receiving chemotherapy are at risk of infections and bleeding.The cancer is not contagious ( it wouldn't spread to others by touch or contact).One treatment is completed the child can resume school and normal activities but will be followed up regularly.


  1. Is Cancer Contagious?

    Cancer is not contagious (Does not spread from one person to the other by contact droplets or aerosols).Children with cancer are often advised not to attend school since they are at risk of infections due to reduced immunity.

  2. Is cancer caused by eating sugary food?

    No.There are no studies which have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear.

  3. My child has been diagnosed with cancer. What is the risk of my other children getting it?

    There are a small number of very rare genetic syndromes that are associated with increased risk of developing childhood cancer For most children the cause is not clear and it is extremely rare for more than one child to be diagnosed within the same family.

  4. I have been told that my child must have a central line to have chemotherapy. Why can't he have his chemo through his veins in his hands and arms?

    Some Chemotherapy drugs can be irritant to the veins and if they are given through an ordinary drip in to the veins in the hands and arms these quite quickly become scarred and it can be difficult to get drips in which can be painful and distressing.

  5. Can cancer surgery or a biopsy cause cancer to spread in the body?

    The chances of surgery causing cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Surgeons Follow standard Procedures and special techniques to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumours.

  6. Can herbal products cure cancer?

    No. no herbal products have been shown to be effective for treating cancer. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful when taken during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they may interfere with how these treatments work.

  7. Is there a chance for cancer to come back?

    Yes.The probability of recurrence / relapse depends again on the type of cancer, the stage and the treatment given.For some cancers like Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, the relapse rate is <10%.

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"The first experience with this hospital has been very good, the staffs are very friendly,v attentive and ready to sort out the queries and cooperative, Doctors are polite and explain the problem very well, made us understand about the complexity and also the best cancer treatment. The Hospital is very clean and housekeeping guys are very active and immediately clean up the place where ever they find its dirty."

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