If you are reading this, you may be concerned that your child or a child you know may have cancer. It is important to remember that symptoms are much more likely to be due to a common childhood complaint or illness.
Occasionally, these symptoms may be indicative of cancer, so it is important to see your doctor if you are concerned. In the unlikely event that a child's symptoms are due to cancer, early diagnosis can make a big difference. For more information on the signs and symptoms to look for and when to seek help, please see: Signs and symptoms of childhood cancer and go to your doctor as soon as you can if you are worried.
Usually your child's symptoms will resolve on their own or with appropriate treatment from your doctor.
If you remain concerned
If your child has ongoing symptoms that are not improving and you have seen the GP on more than 2 occasions, please make sure you voice your concerns and worries. This is especially important if you are concerned something has been overlooked.
Make sure the GP knows how many times your child has been seen for that particular problem.
Through no fault of their own, General Practitioners and emergency doctors are working under intense time pressures, so if you feel something has not been discussed, do not hesitate to ask for areas to be revisited.
If you remain very concerned, you can ask for a second opinion but if possible please talk to your doctor first. It may be they had no idea just how concerned you were.
Most importantly, please keep trying if you are very worried. Often a different doctor (looking at the case from a fresh view point) can be exceptionally beneficial.
If your child is referred for further investigations
If your child is admitted or referred for further investigations it is still unlikely that your child has cancer, however it is important that this diagnosis is excluded. Dependent on the symptoms your child has, certain invesigations may be carried out. These may include:
- A blood test
- An X-ray
- An ultrasound of the area if there is a lump or your child has tummy symptoms
- A CT or MRI scan
- A biopsy