Paediatric Cancer Program at Yashoda Hospital
We are one of the few cancer centres in the country which offers comprehensive paediatric cancer care. From diagnostic evaluation, therapy plans to extensive psychological and social support; we attack cancer from every angle.
With a large number of Paediatric Oncology, Haematology, Immunology and Bone Marrow Transplant, all under one roof, we offer patients the ability to participate in the broadest possible range of clinical trials, with access to potential therapies.
Yashoda Cancer Institute has the largest Bone Marrow Transplant unit in India, offering autologous and allogeneic transplants. At Yashoda, we believe that no child should suffer from cancer and should not be denied treatment due to lack of funds. Hence we engage NGOs to provide financial and social support to needy children and their families.
Our team of doctors boasts of both nationally and internationally trained experts, treating a range of diseases in Haematology, Oncology and Immunology.
What Is Paediatric Cancer?
Cancer that occurs in children below 15 years of age is term as paediatric cancer. It can occur anywhere in their body, including the lymphatic system, blood, kidneys,
brain, spinal cord (central nervous system; CNS), and other organs and tissues.
The different types of cancers that occur most often in children are:
- Brain and spinal cord tumours
- Wilm's tumour
- Lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
- Bone cancer ( such as osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)
What Are The Indications For Paediatric Cancer?
Signs and symptoms of Paediatric Cancer include:
- Continuous unintended weight loss
- Headaches with early morning vomiting
- Increased swelling in the joints, bones, back, or legs with persistent pain
- Lump or mass formation especially in the abdomen, neck, pelvis, chest, or armpits
- Development of bruising, bleeding, or rash
- Constant, persistent or frequent infections
- An emergence of whitish colour behind the pupil
- Nausea that persists
- Constant tiredness or noticeable paleness in the skin
- Eye or vision changes
- Recurring or persistent fevers without any infection
What Are The Different Stages Of Paediatric Cancer?
- Stage I–Cancer tumour is small and is in a specific area of the body.
- Stage II or III – The tumour spreads into the nearby bodily parts.
- Stage IV –Cancer has enhanced and has reached a severe stage. It risks spreading to other body parts.
How is Paediatric Cancer Diagnosed?
Doctors conduct many tests to diagnose cancer and learn if cancer has spread to another part of the body. Paediatric Cancer is often diagnosed using the following tests:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Screening Test
- Staging Tests
What Are The Possible Treatments For Paediatric Cancer?
Treatment of cancer in children is not like that in adults. A Paediatric oncologist focused on the care of children with cancer. The types of treatment that a child with cancer receives are
- Surgical process: A surgeon will remove the tumour and some of the tissue that is in the surrounding areas where cancer may have spread.
- Radiation therapy: High energy waves, such as X-rays, are used to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Powerful medicines are used to kill cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy: This therapy aims to kill cancer's specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival.
- Immunotherapy: Using medicines to destroy cancer by boosting the body's immune system or natural defences.
- Stem-cell transplantation: Damage bone marrow is restored using stem-cell transplantation, following high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
A patient can get a combination of hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy along with surgery or radiation. This approach will help in killing cancer cells left behind, during other forms of treatment.
What Are The Precautions One Must Take To Avoid Paediatric Cancer?
Parents of children with cancer must take the following precautions to avoid paediatric cancer, which includes:
- Stop passive smoking: don't use tobacco or don't allow anyone else to smoke around your kids.
- Sunburn Protection: To prevent skin cancer in your children avoid their exposure to sunburns.
- Nutritious diet: Feed them a healthy diet with lots of fibre, fruits and vegetables and avoid junk food and processed meats.
- Encourage exercise: Make your kids physically active, exercising stabilises the levels of estrogen and insulin hormones.
- Balance body weight: Keep them at a healthy body weight, because hormones produced by fatty tissue influence the way cells grow.
- Limit exposure to chemicals: Do not allow them to get exposed to any harmful chemicals.
- Avoid certain types of infections: Avoid infections that cause chronic inflammation and suppressing the immune system.
Are There Any Risk Factors Involved?
Some of the major factors that lead to paediatric cancer include:
- Medical conditions: Certain conditions such as Down's syndrome can increase a child's risk of developing some types of cancers.
- Genetic: During birth, the retinoblastoma gene, also known as the RB1 gene, causes a rare type of eye cancer.
- Problems with development in the womb: cancers such as Wilm's tumours develop in the womb due to immature cells that can form into a cancerous tumour.
- Exposure to infections: Exposure to infections such as Epstein Barr virus (EBV) can cause a glandular fever which is very unpleasant and can contribute to the development of cancers such as Hodgkin lymphoma and Burkitt's lymphoma.
- Exposure to radiation: Exposure to radiation therapy or any radioactive gas can cause risk of developing paediatric cancer.
- Previous cancer treatments: Past treatments with chemotherapy also cause a high risk of developing cancers such as acute leukaemia at a later age.