Why children can develop tumors




Why children can develop tumors

Why children can develop tumors at all is a mystery to many parents. The known risk factors do not play a role before the age of 20: the effects of pollutants or lifestyle-related risk factors usually only become apparent after decades. Accordingly, the types of tumor in which the influence of individual risk factors could be proven occur almost predominantly only in adults.

Why children can develop tumors

“Did we do something wrong?” or even “Did we inherit the risk of cancer?” – Parents do not have to ask themselves these questions: Scientists and doctors today assume that the triggers for each individual child can hardly be clarified individually.

The changes in the genetic material that turned a healthy cell into a tumor cell may have already started before birth. In another model, researchers blame an immature immune system for some, but not all, of the forms of cancer in children. It is also unclear why boys are affected somewhat more often than girls overall. There are still many unanswered questions about why tumors can sometimes even develop in babies.

Leukemia most common

The types of cancer that children in Germany are most likely to develop differ significantly from those that lead the statistics for adults: around a third of young patients suffer from leukemia. Almost a quarter suffer from tumors of the central nervous system (CNS). Lymphomas, tumors of the peripheral nervous system such as neuroblastoma, as well as soft tissue sarcomas, kidney tumors such as Wilms’ tumor, also known as nephroblastoma, and finally bone tumors and germ cell tumors follow in the statistics. Other types of tumors are very rare in children and adolescents.

Why children can develop tumors

Children’s Cancers

Childhood Cancer