Does my child need to be screened for cancer?

Does my child need to be screened for cancer?

Dr. Redman

Childhood cancer survival and long-term effects

In the US, about 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, and it is the most common cause of death from a disease in school-aged children in our country. While we now can cure four out of five children who develop cancer, some survivors of childhood cancer have significant medical problems from their cancer treatments and may be at higher risk for developing cancer as adults.

The genetic component

From research done here at Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer Genetics Clinic and other hospitals, we have learned that about 10-15% of children who develop cancer were born with a genetic condition that increases their risk of developing the disease. Children with one of these conditions — including neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome — can have very high risks of developing cancer and need careful screening and, sometimes, preventive surgery. When we are able to screen these patients, we can either prevent the cancer from developing or catch it early so that we have the best chance of curing it, and possibly reduce the amount of cancer treatment needed for cure.

Internal Author

Surya P. Rednam, MD

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