Cancer is the name for over one hundred diseases, all of which begin with a normal cell growing out of control. Unlike healthy cells, which are unable to grow past a certain point, cancer cells are able to continue growing and have the ability to invade other healthy tissues. Our team of board-certified oncologists at South Florida Radiation Oncology work together to tailor a unique treatment approach for each patient depending on his or her diagnosis.
Although cancers all begin the same way, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the change from a healthy cell to a cancer cell. It is these primary causes that contribute to the major differences between child and adult diseases and their subsequent course of cancer treatment.
Unlike most adult cancers, which often strongly linked to lifestyle choices and environmental factors, cancers that develop in children are almost always the result of changes in a cell’s genetic material (DNA) that occur early in life. These changes can even occur before the child is born. Because of these early genetic changes, the most common types of cancers in children tend to be rarer in adults. According to the National Cancer Institute, leukemia and cancers of the brain and central nervous system account for over half of childhood cancers.
Childhood cancers also appear to be more responsive to chemotherapy than adult cancers, which can be resistant to the effects of chemotherapy and respond better to radiation. Children also seem to handle the effects of chemotherapy better than adults do, suffering less severe side effects and recovering more quickly. Children can, however, suffer from long-term side effects from chemo and must be monitored closely after treatment has completed.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a stressful and overwhelming event. At South Florida Radiation Oncology, our staff of cancer care specialists is dedicated to making the diagnosis and treatment process more easy to understand. If you are interested in learning more about some of the most advanced cancer treatment options available today, please contact us at (888) 823-9162. You may also visit our website for details about the technology offered, or follow our blog, Twitter, or Facebook posts.