Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is recognized every September. Pediatric cancer, though rare, is the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 14.
Childhood cancer, also called pediatric cancer, is found in children and teens. The causes of childhood cancer are not completely understood. While adult cancers are often linked to lifestyle or environmental factors, cancer in children is often due to genetic changes thought to occur by chance.
Childhood Cancer Facts (from the Children's Cancer Research Fund)
- There are more than 12 major types of childhood cancers and over 100 subtypes
- The two most common types of childhood cancers are leukemias and brain/central nervous system cancers
- The two most common causes of cancer in adults are smoking and obesity. In children, the most common cause of cancer is randomly acquired DNA mutation. In short, childhood cancer is a disease of unfortunate random chance.
- Body aches
- Hair loss
- Mouth, gum and throat sores
- Weight changes
- Increased risk of infection
The treatments are physically exhausting and often financially devastating for families. Many parents and family members feel scared and overwhelmed following a child’s cancer diagnosis. Learn "What to Say (and What Not to Say) to a Family Facing Cancer" from this blog from the Children's Cancer Research Fund.
After treatment is complete, patients often continue to receive follow-up care which often lasts for many years. Childhood cancer survivors should take care of their health, get regular checkups and give their primary care physician details about their cancer history.
Dr Julie Sanchez
At Spoonie Threads we create products to help during various medical treatments. Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Julie Sanchez co-founded the company after she saw a need with her patients. She brings her medical knowledge to the design and testing of each of our products. Here are a few items that could benefit a child undergoing cancer treatments:
Kid Shoulder Snap Tees
This adaptive bodysuit has snap tape along both shoulder seams and down the front, providing access to feeding tubes, catheters, or ports without removing clothing. Our low-profile snaps have a soft fabric backing, and can also be used to secure loose lines during treatment.
Soft Sleeve PICC Line Cover
Soft, sweat-wicking support for PICC lines which are often used in chemotherapy. Our soft sleeves are made with sensory-friendly seams to be as comfortable as possible. They are especially helpful to use to secure lines with young children.
Cath Clips are great for securing loose or tangled PICC lines, and other cords. Coil your dangling cords between the two straps, and then snap them together. Use the plastic clip to secure cords to your clothing or bag.
Know the signs and symptoms of cancer in children:
- An unusual lump or swelling
- Unexplained paleness and loss of energy
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Ongoing pain in one area of the body
- Unexplained fever or illness that doesn't go away
- Frequent headaches, often with vomiting
- Sudden eye or vision changes.
The National Cancer Institute has resources available to help families understand treatment options and provide information to help them navigate the cancer journey. Visit cancer.gov to learn more.