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The Effects of Childhood Cancer

            Every year there are 13,500 children that are diagnosed with cancer. That is about a classroom full of students every day. Several may think that cancer does not affect many children, but it is the number one disease in children in America. Childhood cancer effects the child more than one may think; it effects them long term, short term, and psychologically.
             Childhood cancer does not stop affecting the patient once treatment is over. There can still be health complications years after treatment; this is called late effects. They are usually not life threatening, but can cause serious affects in health and quality of life ("Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer"). Late effects can range in severity and where they affect you. There are three main factors that affect the risk of the late effects. Tumor related factors would be what type of tumor, where it is in the body, and how the organs are being affected by it. The second factor would be treatment related; this all depends on the type of surgery required, the type and amount of chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and if a stem cell transplant is needed. In most cases of leukemia and lymphoma, surgery is not required, because the cancer is in the blood system and you cannot operate on one specific area. The final factor that affects late effects would be personal related. These all depend on the patients' gender, previous health problems, age, regular health habits, and any family history with cancer.
             Late effects are also physical and emotional. Emotional effects can affect one's mood, feelings, actions, thinking, and memory.  Learning disabilities like ADD and ADHD are very common because of methotrexate that is sent directly to the brain. Physical effects can include abnormal bone growth, due to the treatments effect on hormones, hearing loss, due to the chemo treatment to the brain, and complications with the thyroid glands, because of radiation to the neck.

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