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Childhood cancer figures and warning signs

• Leukemia: 25 percent • Wilms tumor: 6 percent • Hodgkin disease: 6 percent • yroid carcinoma: 6 percent • Germ cell tumors: 6 percent • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: 5 percent • Bone tumors: 5 percent • Other: 5 percent • Neuroblastoma: 4 percent • Rhabdomyosarcoma: 2 percent • Retinoblastoma: 2 percent • Melanoma: 2 percent e ACS notes that childhood cancer is not common. However, children o:en get sick or have bumps or bruises that may mask early signs of cancer. As a result, parents should learn to recognize some potential warning signs of childhood cancer and bring them to the attention of their child's pediatrician should they appear.

• Unusual lump or swelling • Unexplained paleness and loss of energy • Easy bruising or bleeding • Ongoing pain in one area of the body • Limping • Unexplained fever or illness that does not go away

• Frequent headaches, o:en accompanied

by vomiting

• Sudden eye or vision changes • Sudden unexplained weight loss

According to the ACS, many of these symptoms are likely caused by injury or in-

fection, not cancer. However, their presence

should be brought to the attention of a pediatrician who can work to determine their cause and develop a successful treatment regimen.

More information about childhood can cers is available at and www.

CureSearch for Childhood Cancer, a nonprofit organization devoted to accelerating the search for cures for children's cancers, notes that the causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown. In addition, such cancers often cannot be prevented, and one out of eight children with cancer will not survive their disease.

Childhood cancer is a blanket term that refers to all cancers that affect children. Some cancers are more common than others, and the following are the percentage of childhood cancer diagnoses by type, according to recent data from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

• Cancer of the brain and central nervous

system: 26 percent

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