Pediatric cancer is dangerous for children, how is it detected?
Pediatric cancer is dangerous for children, how is it detected?

Cancer, a dreaded disease, can also affect the youngest members of society. Pediatric cancer poses unique challenges due to the age and developmental stage of the patients. Detecting cancer in children requires specialized knowledge, keen observation, and collaboration among medical professionals and caregivers. Let's delve into the methods and procedures used in the detection of pediatric cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

Detecting pediatric cancer often begins with recognizing signs and symptoms that may indicate a problem. These can vary depending on the type of cancer but may include:

Physical Signs

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent fever
  • Unusual lumps or masses
  • Bruising or bleeding without injury
  • Recurrent infections
  • Persistent pain, especially bone pain

Behavioral Signs

  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Persistent vomiting or nausea
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Irritability or unusual mood swings

Diagnostic Tests

Upon noticing any concerning signs or symptoms, a healthcare provider will typically conduct a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause. These tests may include:

Imaging Studies

  • Ultrasound: Uses sound waves to create images of internal organs and tissues.
  • X-ray: Produces images of the body's internal structures using low doses of radiation.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Utilizes magnetic fields and radio waves to generate detailed images of the body's organs and tissues.
  • CT (Computed Tomography) Scan: Combines X-ray images taken from different angles to create cross-sectional images of the body.


  • Needle Biopsy: Involves removing a small sample of tissue using a needle for examination under a microscope.
  • Surgical Biopsy: Requires the surgical removal of a larger tissue sample for analysis.

Blood Tests

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): Measures the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood.
  • Blood Chemistry Tests: Assess the function of organs such as the liver and kidneys by measuring levels of various substances in the blood.

Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy

  • Bone Marrow Aspiration: Involves extracting a small sample of bone marrow fluid for examination.
  • Bone Marrow Biopsy: Requires the removal of a small piece of bone and bone marrow for analysis.

Specialized Tests

In addition to standard diagnostic tests, specialized tests may be performed to confirm a diagnosis or provide further information about the cancer, such as:

Genetic Testing

  • Chromosomal Analysis: Examines the structure and number of chromosomes in cells to identify genetic abnormalities.
  • DNA Sequencing: Analyzes the genetic code to identify specific mutations or alterations associated with cancer.

Molecular Testing

  • Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH): Uses fluorescent probes to detect specific DNA sequences and identify genetic abnormalities.
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): Amplifies and analyzes DNA sequences to identify genetic mutations or changes.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Detecting pediatric cancer requires a multidisciplinary approach involving various healthcare professionals, including pediatric oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and nurses. Collaboration among these experts is essential to ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Early detection plays a crucial role in the successful treatment of pediatric cancer. By recognizing signs and symptoms, conducting thorough diagnostic tests, and leveraging specialized techniques, healthcare providers can diagnose cancer in children at earlier stages, improving the chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.

By staying vigilant and seeking prompt medical attention for any concerning symptoms, caregivers and healthcare professionals can work together to detect and treat pediatric cancer effectively.

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