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How Can You Tell If Your Child’s Symptoms Are Cancer?

Child in HospitalThe best treatment for cancer is early detection, but cancer symptoms in children can be hard to detect. Children with cancer may experience all of the symptoms, or none at all. Sometimes these symptoms are caused by a medical condition other than cancer.

Normally, you may not be able to tell if a headache or fever is caused by cancer or by a virus. Fortunately, childhood cancer is rare. However, it’s important for your child to regularly visit a doctor for check-ups. Make sure to let your child’s doctor know any possible symptoms you’ve noticed, especially if the symptoms have gotten worse.

Bone and Joint Pain

A large number of cancer cases in children are diagnosed as leukemia. Leukemia can cause bone and joint pain in children along with fatigue, fever, infections and bleeding. Fevers that last for more than a day or two along with general lethargy may also be cancer symptoms in children.

Headaches and Weakness

When brain cancer occurs in children, it often causes headaches, dizziness and vision problems. In some cases, it can also cause excessive thirst and urination or nausea and projectile vomiting.

If your child frequently experiences migraine headaches, nausea and lethargy, you should schedule a doctor’s visit for an examination.

Swelling and Lumps

When a child shows a lump or growth under their skin, it could be a sign of a tumor. Tumors can appear in the abdomen such as with Wilms’ tumor, a cancer of the kidneys. They can appear on the head, neck, arms and legs as with rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of muscle cancer.

These growths are typically painless to the touch. However, they often cause pain or difficulty in the surrounding tissue and structures. Experiencing any of these cancer symptoms in children is cause to visit a doctor.