Pediatric Cancer

Understanding Child Cancers Image

Childhood cancers can be challenging to deal with, not only for the child but also for the parents and family of the child. Some young children don’t understand the severity of cancers, and can’t understand what is making them sick.

Older children may ask more difficult questions and associate cancer with death, but they will also be able to understand their disease better than young children and with therefore more likely actively participate in treatment.

When dealing with cancer, it is important not to ignore the emotions of the child or of family members. Support groups and therapy can often be very helpful when a child is going through cancer treatment or recovery.

Pediatric cancer research is ongoing and is making headway in a number of areas. New treatments and ways of giving medication are being discovered, and clinical trials can help medical professionals assess new research and treatment options.

In this section, learn about all aspects of child cancers, including different types of child cancers, cancer research, emotions and support, health care teams at children’s hospitals and more.


Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. About 2,200 cases of leukemia are diagnosed in children each year in the United States.

Leukemia refers to a number of bone marrow cancers. Learn about white blood cells, causes and treatments for leukemia.

Cancer Research

Cancer research is an ongoing process and doctors are discovering new treatment methods and new ways of administering treatments to cancer patients all the time. Clinical trials can also help, but as child cancer is rare, participants in clinical trials are generally scarce.

Get information on what medical professionals are learning and bringing into cancer treatment methods through their cancer research.

Brain Cancer

Brain cancer is the most deadly of all childhood cancers. No single cause of brain cancer is known, though certain factors can put children at risk for developing brain cancer.

The disease can be present in many different parts of the brain. Learn about the different classifications of brain cancer.

Health Care Team

When a child has cancer, they will often spend a great deal of time in a hospital or treatment center. In addition to doctors and nurses, a number of specialists will be involved in the treatment and care of the child.

Learn about specialists like oncologists and pediatric surgeons that may be on a young cancer patient’s health care team.

Wilms’ Tumor

Wilms’ tumor is the most common childhood cancer of the kidney. Also called nephroblastoma or renal embryoma, Wilms’ tumor accounts for 95 percent of pediatric renal cancers occurring before age 15.

Certain birth defects raise the odds that childhood cancer of the kidneys will develop. Fifteen percent of cases are linked to birth defects. Treatment methods for Wilms’ tumor generally involve surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

If confined to the kidneys, prognosis is very good for children with Wilms’ tumor.


Lymphoma is the third most common childhood cancer in the United States. Lymphoma affects the lymphatic system.

Learn about causes, treatments, diagnosis and new research and treatment methods for lymphoma.


Mayo Clinic (2007). Wilms’ Tumor. Retrieved September 4, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site:

Nemours Foundation (2005). Childhood cancer: Leukemia. Retrieved September 4, 2007, from the Nemours Foundation Web site:

U.S. National Library of Medicine (2004). Brain tumor: Children. Retrieved September 4, 2007, from the NLM MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Web site: