To speak to a specialist cancer nurse,
freefone the National Cancer Helpline
1800 200 700
Mon—Thurs 9am—7pm Fri 9am—5pm
The symptoms of cancer in children depend on the location of the tumour. If you notice a change in your child´s body, visit your GP. Symptoms can include:
Remember these symptoms are similar to many other conditions that are not cancer. Talk to your GP if you are concerned.
Testing for cancer when you have no symptoms is called screening. There is no children´s cancer screening programme in Ireland or anywhere in the world at present. If you are concerned about cancer in your child, talk to your GP.
First, visit your GP if you are worried about any symptoms. If your doctor has concerns about your child, he or she will refer them to a hospital. There your child will see a specialist who may arrange more tests. Your child may need some of the following tests:
Biopsy: Here a sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope in the lab. A biopsy helps your doctor to diagnose the disease.
Blood test: Blood tests can check the number of blood cells and if organs like the kidney and liver are working properly.
Bone Marrow test: A bone marrow biopsy examines the inside of the bone marrow. This is where all the different types of blood cells are made.
Lumbar puncture: A lumbar puncture removes a sample of fluid from around the spinal cord.
X–rays: X-rays allow your doctor to look inside the body and check for any abnormal changes.
Ultrasound scan: An ultrasound scan uses sound waves to build up a picture of the tissues inside your body. It is like the scan used for pregnant women.
These scans can help to stage the cancer. This means finding out the size of the cancer and if it has spread anywhere else. This can help your doctor to decide on the right treatment for you.
Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm
We have compiled a list of support groups, networks and other resources for children and teenagers with cancer, and their families.