Pediatric oncology is the research and treatment of cancers in children and young adults. Pediatric oncologists study and train in both pediatrics and oncology. The types of cancers that develop in children are often different from those that develop in adults.
Although many adult cancers are linked to environmental or lifestyle factors, cancers that occur in children are very rarely related to any type of environmental or lifestyle factor. Indeed, childhood cancers can develop as the result of DNA changes in cells that occur early in life, even before birth.
Such cancers may include neuroblastomas, Wilms tumors, rhabdomyosarcomas, retinoblastomas, bone cancers such as osteosarcomas and Ewing sarcomas, and cancers of the brain/spinal cord. Treatment often involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and it is important to note that responses in children are much different compared to those in adults.
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