The human embryo before birth is made up of only a handful of cells. These cells divide and multiply in the small embryo and gradually become more specialised until they form structures such as bone and the heart.

After this, each cell divides and produces more of its own kind in a controlled way until the baby is born. The process of cells dividing and multiplying continues throughout life in order to replace old cells that have been damaged through wear or injury. Some cells such as skin and bone marrow can do this very quickly; others such as nerve and muscle do it slowly.

Sometimes things can go wrong You can see that the making of a human being is very complex and it is not surprising that things can go wrong from time to time.

Cancer develops when a cell in the body, for some as yet unknown reason, starts to divide and multiply without the normal control. A mistake in the cancer cell’s genes tells the cell to grow, divide and multiply. Millions of cancer cells can grow from one cancer cell.

At first nothing may be noticed, but a build up of cancer cells may produce a lump or tumour. Some types of cancer may produce other symptoms such as bruising, tiredness and aching joints. It is not known when a cancer really begins, but there is always a period of time before it becomes noticed.

Different kinds of cancer have different signs, symptoms, treatments, and outcomes, depending on the type of cell involved and the degree of uncontrolled cell growth. The most common childhood cancers are leukaemia, lymphoma, and brain cancer.

For more detailed information please refer to:

Types of Childhood Cancer

Different kinds of cancer have different signs, symptoms, treatments, and outcomes, depending on the type of cell involved and the degree of uncontrolled cell growth. The most common childhood cancers are leukaemia, lymphoma, and brain cancer.

Tests & Procedures

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the parents and the child are usually in shock over the diagnosis, and this can make them feel totally lost and a sea because the general Jane or Joe Public does not really know that much about cancer, especially Childhood Cancer.

Cancer Treatments

Childhood Cancer is very different to Adult Cancer and is therefore not treated the same as Adult Cancer. Paediatric Cancer Centres generally offer extra support services for children and their families, such as child life specialists, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, counsellors.

Side Effects

Childhood Cancer can result in many side-effects, including physical, social, and emotional side effects. For this reason, preventing and controlling the side effects of the cancer and/or its treatment is very important. This is known as symptom management, palliative or supportive care, and is an essential part of the overall treatment plan.

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