It is rare for children to get cancer. The most common cancers that affect children are:
- Leukaemia. Cancer of the white blood cells, which help us to fight infection.
- Brain tumour. Cancer that causes a tumour (lump of abnormal cells) in the brain. The brain, together with the spinal cord, controls all the functions of the body.
- Sarcoma. Cancer affecting muscles (soft tissue sarcoma) or bone (bone sarcoma).
- Germ cell tumour. Cancer that affects the cells that make eggs (in a girl’s ovaries) or sperm (in a boy’s testicles).
- Lymphoma. Cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. There are two main types: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Liver cancer. Cancer that affects the liver. The liver helps blood to clot, breaks down fats and carbohydrates from our food and gets rid of harmful substances from our body.
- Neuroblastoma. Cancer that affects nerve cells called neural crest cells. It can happen anywhere in your body.
- Retinoblastoma. A rare cancer that causes a tumour in the eye.
- Wilms’ tumour (kidney). Affects the kidney. The kidneys filter your blood to remove waste products.
About 1 in every 3 cancers that affect children are leukaemias, which are blood cancers. The most common tumours in children are brain tumours. If your child has a rare type of cancer, talk to the doctors and nurses about it, as they can give you more information.
Peer to peer support for parents of children with cancer
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