Types of Childhood Cancer
The most common pediatric cancers are:
- Bone cancer (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)
- Leukemia (34%) - The most common types in children are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Leukemia may cause bone and joint pain, fatigue, weakness, bleeding, fever, weight loss, and other symptoms.
- Brain and other nervous system tumors (27%) - There are many types of brain tumors, and the treatment and outlook for each is different. Most brain tumors in children start in the lower parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum or brain stem. They can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred or double vision, dizziness, and trouble walking or handling objects.
- Neuroblastoma (7%) - Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that starts in early forms of nerve cells found in a developing embryo or fetus. This type of cancer typically occurs in infants and young children, and is rarely found in children older than 10. This tumor can start anywhere but is usually in the abdomen and is first noticed as swelling. It can also cause bone pain and fever.
- Wilms tumor (5%) - Wilms tumor is a cancer that starts in one or both kidneys. It is most often found in children 3 to 4 years old, and is uncommon in children older than age 6. It can show up as swelling or a lump in the abdomen. Sometimes the child might have other symptoms, like fever, pain, nausea, or poor appetite.
- Lymphoma (4%) - These are cancers that start in certain cells of the immune system called lymphocytes. These cancers most often affect lymph nodes and other lymph tissues, like the tonsils or thymus. They can also affect the bone marrow and other organs, and can cause different symptoms depending on where the cancer is growing. Lymphomas can cause weight loss, fever, sweats, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma (3%) - Rhabdomyosarcoma starts in cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles. It can happen in the head and neck, groin, abdomen, pelvis, or in an arm or leg. It may cause pain, swelling (a lump), or both. This is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children.