Causes And Consequences Of Childhood Cancer

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The incidence of death from cancer is decreasing, but it will always have a significant impact in nursing practice. Mortality has declined by 66% over the past 30 years, from a 5-year survival rate of less than 50% to approximately 83% today (Barbel & Peterson, 2015). The article, “Recognizing subtle signs and symptoms of pediatric cancer”, discusses the causes and risks, signs and symptoms, details of the different forms of cancer, as well as some nursing implications in regards to pediatric cancer.
Childhood cancers usually involve the hematopoietic system (leukemia), brain, and other parts of the nervous system, soft tissues, kidneys (Wilms tumor), and bone (Porth, 2015). There are many risk factors relating to the environment, genetics,
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Leukemia starts in the bone marrow and can cause many classic symptoms such as anemia, thrombocytopenia, pallor, fever, recurrent infections, and bone or joint pain. Malignant brain and spinal cord tumors arise in the cerebellum, brainstem, frontal lobe, temporal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, cerebrum, ventricles, meninges, cranial nerves, spinal cord, and/or cauda equine. The cause is unknown, but when present, can cause increased head circumference (in infants), and headaches, vomiting, and blurred vision (in older children). Lymphomas affect the lymphoid tissues and cause a painless lymphadenopathy. Neuroblastoma begins in the neuroblasts of the sympathetic nervous system (Barbel, & Peterson, 2015). Since the nerve cells are dispersed in all over the body, tumors can arise anywhere. Most common area is the abdomen, and this is usually what brings the child in the hospital. This particular cancer can also affect the eyes. Wilms tumor arises in the kidneys, and can also cause an abdominal mass, which will increase the abdominal girth. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft-tissue cancer of the striated muscle. The signs and symptoms will change depending on the origin of the cancer. Some of these signs and symptoms could include pain, proptosis, ophthalmoplegia, nasal obstruction, or facial nerve palsy. A retinoblastoma arises from the retina and is usually a rare occurrence. The most common manifestation is leukocoria. The last cancer discussed is osteosarcoma, which is an aggressive bone cancer that primarily affects the large bones of the arms or legs. Localized pain, as well as limping can occur with this type of

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