Signs and symptoms of pediatric cancer

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Signs and symptoms of pediatric cancer

First of all, we don't really see, in childhood cancer, early detection is as big an issue as an adult cancer. The reason is that childhood cancer is tend to disseminate early. They tend to go other places in the body early on. So, it's very hard to really pick them up when they're very, very early in their course. Like you do with adult cancer. Which take a little longer to disseminate in general. But, there are some things that you can look at. If a child develops bruising, bleeding, looks anemic is having fevers, that sort of combination, usually means that there may be something wrong in the bone marrow. Where the blood is made. It may not be leukemia, maybe something else. But, certainly a group of symptoms together that one would say, "Well, I better take my child and have them looked." Certainly, if they develop an expanding lump, an expanding mass, either internally that's obvious to the family or externally, that's something that should be seen by a doctor. The other thing that I think are important are things like persistent nausea, vomiting and headache. Particularly, early morning. That's a sign of potentially a brain tumor. Again, not exclusively. And then someone who has persistent abdominal pain. To me, that deserves being looked at. It's not just pain one day, or couple of day. but persist. That deserves to be looked at to be sure there's not something is going on. Again, it may not be cancer. But, it's something that deserves to be looked at. And, it may turn out, in same cases, to be cancer.

View Stuart E. Siegel, MD's video on Signs and symptoms of pediatric cancer...


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Stuart E. Siegel, MD

Director, Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Before recently shifting his focus to international medicine, Stuart Siegel, MD, was Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology for 35 years and the founding director of the the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Professor and Head of the Division of Hematology-Oncology Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. He remains a leader in supportive care and research in pediatric oncology, with a special focus on neuroblastoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Ewing Sarcoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors. From developing the first pediatric protective environment in 1971 for children undergoing intensive chemotherapy, to pioneering current efforts to develop academic and clinical care programs nationally and locally for adolescents and young adults with cancer, Dr. Siegel’s contributions have revolutionized the field of pediatric oncology. Dr. Siegel has been honored for his work by the American Cancer Society, Children Foundation, the Cancer Foundation, the Chase Foundation, Padres Contra El Cancer, the Israel Cancer Research Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he is a member of the National Board, and has consistently been listed among the nation’s top doctors in such publications asAmerica’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America. He is a father of one son, Joshua; grandfather of David and Elijah; and lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife of seven years.

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