A diagnosis of cancer within children is a surreal moment. Most parents cannot believe their ears in these situations. During National Health Education Week
, both parents and children can learn a lot more about cancer; particularly those that are rare and aggressive, including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma isn't an ailment that gets a lot of attention in the younger years, and it can affect even the smallest child. Explore the facts and hopes surrounding this cancer so that loved ones can fight on against childhood tumors. Around the Home
Understanding how children develop mesothelioma in the first place requires some knowledge about asbestos. Tumors grow within the lining of the lungs in children when they breathe in asbestos fibers from natural deposits or contract them from their parents' clothing.
Asbestos is a fibrous substance that's found naturally in the Earth. Once the fibers catch in the air, the lung tissue becomes vulnerable. The fibers stick to the lining where they can cause malignant mesothelioma
. Workplaces used to be hubs of asbestos use until it was outlawed many years ago. These fibers, however, are still prevalent in certain areas. Rare Causes & Occurrences
According to the International Society for Children With Cancer
, there are other causes of mesothelioma. Children might have a genetic tendency passed down through their lineage. Drugs and exposure within the womb might be an issue too.
It's a fact that mesothelioma in children is extremely rare. There's very little research on children in this area because the numbers are so low. Although this fact is good news to some extent, it also means that there is less research dedicated to children. Being exposed to radiation, for example, is a cause for cancer development that can use more insight from the experts. Treating the Tumors
Many childhood cancers are overlooked because any symptoms are typically blamed on other ailments. The tumors have a chance to grow as a result. Once the cancer has been discovered, chemotherapy and radiation are the main treatment options. Doctors must account for the child's small body and alter the treatment that's normally designed for adults.
Parents might ask about surgeries, but they're often impossible to perform. The tumors hidden within a small child can be too numerous to extract. Shrinking them with chemotherapy or radiation are the best routes to take. Uplifting ResearchABC News
reports that some patients are becoming heroes when it comes to childhood cancer. A brain tumor extracted from one child may answer several questions about why cancer develops and how to fight it.
Although most mesothelioma diagnoses are difficult to face, there is some hope for families. Making this lung cancer a priority among researchers can turn into a solution for patients. From tumor evaluations to immunotherapy, science and hope can converge to help even the smallest child.
There are many other types of cancer in children besides mesothelioma, reports CureSearch for Children's Cancer
. Between October 15th and 19th, take some time out to really understand how lung cancer affects children. With some dedicated researchers, this cancer may have some solutions in the near future.