Haematological malignancies and children
Paediatric cancer is considered, in general, a rare illness. Between 1% and 3% of all cancer cases affect children. In Spain, about 1,200 children are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Around 50% of the children younger than 15 who suffer from cancer have leukaemia or lymphoma. The other 50% has different tumours such as osteosarcoma, Wilms' Tumour, brain tumours, Ewing Sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma or retinoblastoma.
In the case of haematological malignancies, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia is the most common neoplasia, being the most frequent cancer. Nevertheless, it is not the only way leukaemia affects children. There are also other types of leukaemia much less common suck as Paediatric Acute Myeloid Leukaemia or Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (JMML).
In the last years, the treatment for paediatric cancer has improved patients' survival rates significantly. Although it is still the second cause of mortality in children, today, 75% of the cases can be cured.
In all cases, behind a paediatric cancer diagnosis there is a family who is put in an unexpected and traumatic situation. This diagnosis represents a destabilizing element inside the family and it can affect the child and the family in several ways: economic (for example, the abandonment of work of one of the parents), organization (for example, the frequent displacements or the reorganization of the family members' activities), affective (for example, taking care of the rest of the children), etc.
In this section we want to offer as much information as possible (from our entity and from other associations) so that the child and his surrounding (family, professors, friends...) can handle the situation better and with quality information.
● General information resources about paediatric cancer / haematological malignancies in children:
- "Paediatric cancer" from EL MUNDO Salud (In Spanish)
- "Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in children", information from the José Carreras Foundation against Leukaemia
- "Childhood leukaemia", information of the Medline Plus Encyclopedia
- "Myeloid Leukemias in Children", information from the National Cancer Institute
- "Coping with childhood leukaemia and lymphoma", Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society information
- "Guide about the bone marrow, peripheral blood and umbilical cord blood transplant", document from the José Carreras Foundation against Leukaemia
- Childhood Blood Cancer, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society information
● Information for children and/or teenage cancer patients:
- "Medulin's family", paper cut-outs for children at the hospital from the José Carreras Foundation against Leukaemia
- "Special resources created with love for children and teens fighting cancer", information from Kids Cancer Network
- Look good feel better, talks about appearance-related concerns for teens
- StarBright World, an online social network where teens (ages 13 to 20) who have serious medical conditions, and siblings of seriously ill teens, can connect with each other via moderated chat rooms, games, bulletin boards, videos, and more
● Information resources for parents and families of kids and teenagers with cancer:
- Information from the American Cancer Society: "How do children with cancer and their siblings react to a cancer diagnosis?"
- Super Siblings, provides information and resources to support siblings of children diagnosed with cancer
- The Never-Ending Squirrel Tales, web site to encourage and empower parents of kids with cancer
- St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, large website where parents can find information on leukemia and lymphoma.
- Neuroblastoma Childrens Cancer Society, good resource for parents of children with neuroblastoma.
- Information on umbilical cord blood donation, information from the José Carreras Foundation against Leukaemia (how and where to donate your umbilical cord blood?)
- Ask the doctor: José Carreras Foundation resource available to patients and families exclusively for questions regarding medical issues related to leukemia and other haematological malignancies
- Central Venous Catheters. Kidshealth
- Aspiration and Biopsy: Bone Marrow. Kidshealth
- End-of-Life Care for Children with Terminal Illnesses. Kidshealth
- Coping with cosmetic effects of cancer treatment. Kidshealth
If you want to read the testimonies of patients that have suffered an haematological malignancy, visit the "The plans of patients" section.