Cancer, more than a definition, is a situation of concepts.
Childhood cancer is the second cause of mortality in Mexico, after accidents, between the ages of 4 and 15. There are several ailments whose causes are unknown. Unlike adult cancer, in children it must be understood that they are growing and developing and that in some cases the cells suddenly begin to mutate, producing tumors or leukemia.
Dr. Roberto Rivera Luna, oncologist, hematologist, pediatrician, and medical director of the ABC Pediatric Cancer Center, explains that a child with cancer has the same therapeutic weapons as an adult. It is a multidisciplinary treatment, that is, several disciplines such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are involved.
Currently, with new drugs, new components, and more personalized therapies such as immunotherapy and other treatments, children have a good chance of being cured by up to 80 percent, if detected early.
In children, it is the father, the mother, or the pediatrician who detects the presence of swollen glands in the neck, in the armpits, growth of the spleen or liver, and other manifestations. If it’s leukemia or lymphoma, small bruises the size of a pinhead or hematomas, large bruises, nosebleeds, or bleeding gums appear. If the child does not have leukemia or lymphoma but has a large abdominal distention, cannot be comfortable, has difficulty eating, or is nauseated, it may be a tumor.
Care and specialists
A pediatric oncologist is the one indicated to care for a child with cancer because they need to know how to administer solutions, medications, transfusions, and, if necessary, antibiotics. A one-year-old child is not given the same dose as a three-year-old or a 15-year-old. In addition, with pediatric patients, a good hospital infrastructure, a laboratory, and a 24-hour hospital are needed.
Hematopoietic cell transplant candidates.
“There are very strict criteria for transplantation, if a child suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, in any hospital in the world, the first step is to study them and assign his or her prognosis. Some children are at low risk and are cured with chemotherapy alone, but they are the fewest. High-risk children or children at usual risk but who have relapsed are the ones who go on to a transplant program” says the specialist. To conclude, Doctor Roberto Rivera Luna emphasizes that there are very few private national institutions such as the ABC Cancer Center that have all the medical and technical infrastructure for the comprehensive management of these children. One of its strengths is that it is internationally certified by the Joint Commission International, which follows the necessary quality parameters to provide the best care and safety to both adult and pediatric patients.
At ABC Medical Center’s Department of Pediatric Oncology, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!