Cancer screenings are tests that look for signs of cancer before you have symptoms. The goal of cancer screenings is to find cancer early, in its most treatable stages. Some screenings can even help prevent cancer by finding precancerous changes.
If you are interested in cancer screenings for your child or teen in Arizona, Find a Doctor near you today or call (844) 214-5236.
Risk Factors of Childhood Cancer
Childhood and adolescent cancers are rare, accounting for less than one percent of cancers in the US. Because of this, there are no standard or routine cancer screenings for these age groups.
Early Detection of Childhood Cancer
Finding cancer early offers the best chance for a cure. Most cancers are more likely to respond to treatment in the early stages. See your doctor if your child or teen experiences any symptoms that last more than a couple of weeks. If you are concerned, talk with your doctor about your child’s risk for childhood and adolescent cancers.
Common Childhood Cancers
Cancers that most often develop in children and teens include:
- Bone cancer: Certain bone diseases and inherited syndromes can increase the risk of bone cancers, particularly osteosarcoma.
- Brain and spinal cord cancer: Less than five percent of brain and spinal cord tumors are due to inherited genetic conditions.
- Leukemia: Genetic factors can increase a child’s risk of leukemia. Having a sibling with leukemia also increases the risk.
- Lymphomas: For non-Hodgkin lymphoma, genetic immune deficiency syndromes are a risk factor. In Hodgkin lymphoma, having a sibling with the disease plays a role.
- Melanoma: About one in 10 people with melanoma have a family history of the disease A rare inherited condition — xeroderma pigmentosum — is another risk factor for melanoma.
- Neuroblastoma: A small percentage of neuroblastomas are linked to an inherited genetic condition in children.
- Ovarian cancer: Ovarian cancer typically strikes older women. However, a certain type — called germ cell tumors — tends to affect teens and young women.
- Retinoblastoma: The most common eye tumor in children is caused by a specific gene mutation in the RB1 gene. In some cases, the mutation is passed down by a parent.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma: This soft tissue cancer starts in certain types of cells in nearly any part of the body. Inherited conditions increase a child’s risk of developing it.
- Testicular cancer: Having a father or brother with testicular cancer increases a boy’s risk of developing this disease. Doctors may recommend monthly self-exams for males at high risk.
- Thyroid cancer: There are several inherited conditions that increase the risk of thyroid cancer.
- Wilms tumor: Things that increase a child’s risk of this type of cancer are inherited conditions, birth defects, and having one or more relatives with Wilms tumor.
Dignity Health, a leader in cancer care, provides cancer screenings for children and teens in Arizona.