Childhood Leukemia is the most common Blood Cancer type found in the children. Leukemia is the cancer of white blood cells which takes place when the white blood cells fail to achieve maturity. And with time, these immature cells grow and outranks the normal cells.

According to the OMICS International Reports, In India, more than 10000 kids suffer from Childhood Leukemia every year. Children under the age of 15 years are most common to Leukemia. So, in this article, we will be discussing the various reasons behind the rise/ cause of Leukemia in Children, types of childhood leukemia, and symptoms of childhood leukemia.

Causes of Childhood Leukemia

The specific reason behind the cause of Leukemia in Children is not known yet, but there are certain habits and things which may support the rise of Leukemia in Children. The factors which increase the risk of childhood leukemia are as follows:

  • There are different types of inherited disorders Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Down syndrome which may raise the risk of childhood leukemia.
  • The inherited immune system diseases.
  • If any Brother or Sister is suffering or experiencing leukemia. Identical twins are more at risk if any one of them has leukemia.
  • Exposure to certain chemicals like benzene.
  • Exposure to high-level radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Organ Transplant is also a risk factor for Childhood Leukemia.

These can be reasons behind the cause of childhood leukemia, but doctors are not so sure about this. Thus, the exposure to any of these causes doesn’t mean that you will get caught by the disease called childhood leukemia and vice versa.

Types of Childhood Leukemia

There are different types of Childhood Leukemia which are mentioned below:

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL): Most of the childhood Leukemia cases falls under the category of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Around 75% of the total childhood leukemia cases are of ALL.
  • Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML): After Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia is the second most common type of childhood leukemia.
  • Hybrid or Mixed-Lineage Leukemia: This type of leukemia is a mixture of both ALL and AML. Also, this is quite a rare type of childhood leukemia.
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML): This type of childhood leukemia is quite rare in the children.
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL): The chances of this type of leukemia in children is almost negligible.
  • Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML): Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia is the type of leukemia which is very rare and is only seen in the children of age below four years.

Symptoms of Childhood Leukemia

Acute and Chronic are the two types of Leukemia in which the Chronic one shows the signs slowly whereas the Acute Leukemia shows the signs in sudden. Also, the symptoms of childhood leukemia can confuse the people as they may or may not be the symptoms of Leukemia. The various symptoms of Leukemia which a child can experience are:

  • Anemia: Anemia is developed when there is a lack of Red Blood Cells in the body. During Anemia, the blood flow to brain and rest parts of the body may slow down. Also, Anemia leads to many other symptoms like Tiredness (fatigue), Feeling cold, Headaches, Pale skin, Feeling dizzy or lightheaded, Weakness, Shortness of breath.
  • Bruising and Bleeding: A child with leukemia may experience more bleeding than after the minor injury, compared to the normal one. This is due to low platelet counts in the blood. The other symptoms of low platelet count which you may face are Bleeding gums and Frequent or severe nosebleeds.
  • Trouble Breathing: As we all know that at a stage leukemia will spread and affect the nearby lymph nodes which cause swelling. A child might fell or experience these swollen nodes at the sites like underarm areas, above the collarbone, neck, or in the groin. When the swollen nodes reach and affect the gland called thymus (present at the base of the neck). This swelling of thymus causes trouble in Breathing.
  • Bone and Joint Pain: Leukemia is the cancer of Bone Marrow. The cancerous cells affect the site called Bone Marrow which directly affects the production of healthy cells. Due to this, a sensation of pain is experienced in the bones and joints. In this state, children generally suffer from back pain.
  • Frequent Infections: White Blood Cells are the fighters of the human body, and when their count is reduced, the body becomes more prone to the different type of infections. That is why in Childhood Leukemia, the child experiences frequent bacterial or viral infections.
  • Stomachache and Poor Appetite: If your child is continuously complaining about a stomachache, then an immediate check-up is required. There is a possibility that the child might have Leukemia. Also, it is seen in some of the cases that Leukemia Cells accumulate in the parts like spleen, liver, and kidneys. This accumulation might cause the enlargement of these organs. Apart from stomachache, the child might also face a loss of appetite which would lead to noncomplete diet and weight loss.

So, there are the symptoms which a person might suffer from but keep in mind that these symptoms vary from child to child. Few children might experience severe symptoms while other children might experience no symptoms. So, be careful regarding the understanding of symptoms of childhood leukemia. To know more about this, the parents along with their child are advised to pay a visit to the doctor.

Leave a reply