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Childhood cancers differ in many ways from those in adults. They develop in different parts of the body, look different under the microscope and respond differently to treatments. The survival rate for children with cancer is much higher than it is for adults. Childhood cancers tend to grow quickly and so are more responsive to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In resource-rich countries like Canada, the cure rate for children with cancer is now close to 80 per cent.

There are many types of cancer in children but the most common childhood cancers are leukemias (cancers of the blood-producing tissues), lymphomas (cancers of the lymphatic system) and brain tumours, whereas skin, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers are most common in adults.

A child’s stage of growth and development is an important factor when considering treatment options. Although childhood cancers are more responsive to treatment, cancer therapies can be harsh and may have lasting disabling effects on growing bodies.

The causes of most childhood cancers are still unknown, while many adult cancers have been linked to environmental, occupational and live style issues such diet, alcohol and smoking.

To read more about childhood cancer, click here for a list of cancer sites or visit our alphabetical glossary of cancer terms. For more information on resources and services available for families facing childhood cancer, call us at 403.216.9210 or email us.



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