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
Would you like to speak to a trained parent volunteer who really knows what you are going through, and understands what it is like to have a child with cancer?
For more information
1800 200 700