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What Does It Mean If Your Child Has Pediatric Bladder Cancer?

What Does It Mean If Your Child Has Pediatric Bladder Cancer?
What Does It Mean If Your Child Has Pediatric Bladder Cancer?


Although it is uncommon in general, children can develop bladder cancer. Surgery is usually used to treat non-aggressive bladder cancer in children. The most typical sign is blood in the urine.

Cancer can strike youngsters as well, while it usually affects adults. According to American Cancer Society forecasts 9,620 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2024.

In general, children rarely develop bladder cancer. The symptoms, diagnosis, course of treatment, and prognosis of paediatric bladder cancer will all be covered in detail in this article.


What is pediatric bladder cancer?

When bladder cells start to proliferate out of control, bladder cancer develops. The hollow organ in your body called the bladder holds pee until you need to urinate and remove it from your body.

Bladder cancer affects only 0.1% to 0.4% of individuals under the age of 20. It is not a prevalent form of paediatric cancer.

Urothelial carcinomas account for the majority of bladder cancer cases, including those in children. Transitional cell carcinomas are another term that medical practitioners may use to describe these malignancies.

The cells lining the inside of your bladder and other urinary tract organs are the starting point for urothelial carcinomas.



What are the symptoms of pediatric bladder cancer?

Urine with blood in it is the most typical sign of paediatric bladder cancer. Though it rarely hurts, this usually happens without any pain. The blood may be rusty in colour or brilliant red.

Other potential signs and symptoms consist of:
  • painful urination
  • pain in your abdomen or lower back
  • frequent or urgent urination


What causes pediatric bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer develops when abnormalities in the DNA of bladder cells lead to abnormally fast cell division and growth. Although the precise causes of bladder cancer are unknown, many risk factors have been recognised by medical professionals.

However, smoking and occupational exposures—known adult risk factors for bladder cancer—are generally not linked to paediatric bladder cancer.

As per the findings of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), children who:
  • had received chemotherapy treatments known as alkylating chemicals, such as cyclophosphamide, for a prior malignancy
  • had previously experienced a hereditary form of retinoblastoma, a malignancy that affects the retina.


How is pediatric bladder cancer diagnosed?

Your child's physician will perform a physical examination and obtain your child's personal and family medical history before making the diagnosis of paediatric bladder cancer.

To confirm or rule out a diagnosis of bladder cancer, clinicians may run the following tests:
  • urine testing
  • blood tests
  • imaging examinations, like CT, MRI, and ultrasound scans
  • During a cystoscopy, the inner lining of the bladder is viewed using a device called a cystoscope, and occasionally a biopsy sample is taken.
  • examination of a biopsy sample to detect cancerous cells


Questions for your child’s doctor

At any age, receiving a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. When a child is diagnosed, these emotions may intensify.

As you navigate the time following a cancer diagnosis, you may wish to ask the medical team caring for your kid the following questions:
  • What type of cancer does my child have?
  • What’s the outlook for this type of cancer?
  • How soon will my child need treatment?
  • Where will my child’s treatment occur? How long will it last?
  • Is there anything that I can do to help prepare my child for their treatment?
  • How can I help my child cope with their diagnosis?
  • What type of treatment do you recommend? Why?
  • Who else will be included on my child’s treatment team?
  • What are the side effects associated with treatment? What can I do to help prevent or manage them?
  • Are there any long-term side effects associated with treatment?
  • How often will my child have follow-up visits after treatment? What will these entail?
  • What are the next steps if the cancer comes back after treatment?
  • How will treatment affect my child’s daily life? How can I better help them cope with these effects?


What’s the treatment for pediatric bladder cancer?

Paediatric bladder cancer is treated by a diverse team of medical specialists. Besides a paediatric oncologist, members of this team may consist of:
  • your child’s pediatrician
  • nurses
  • psychologists or social workers
  • a pediatric surgeon
  • a pediatric urologist
Numerous variables can influence the kind of care your child receives, including:
  • the particular kind of bladder cancer that they possess
  • the cancer's stage and extent
  • how likely it is that the cancer will be aggressive
  • the tumor's location and size
  • the age and general health of your child
A transurethral resection is a popular surgical operation used by surgeons to treat bladder cancer in children.

A resectoscope is a device that a surgeon inserts through the urethra and into the bladder to perform a transurethral resection. To remove the cancer and a portion of healthy tissue surrounding the tumour, they utilise a resectoscope.

Surgeons may conduct a cystectomy, which involves removing all or part of the bladder if the cancer is particularly aggressive.



What’s the outlook for children with pediatric bladder cancer?

For children with paediatric bladder cancer, the prognosis is often very good. This is because the majority of paediatric bladder malignancies are low-grade, or less aggressive.

The overall 5-year survival rate for bladder cancer in those under 20 is 94.9%, according to the NCI's SEER programme. This is the proportion of bladder cancer patients who are still alive five years after their diagnosis.

Various factors can impact the perspective, such as:
  • if surgery is an option for removing the malignancy
  • how aggressive the cancer is
  • the tumor’s size and location
  • the type of cancer
  • the cancer stage
  • your child’s age and overall health
After therapy, bladder cancer can recur, however, this is far less likely in children than in adults. The anticipated recurrence rates for those under 20 range from 2.6% to 13%. Adult recurrence rates range from 40% to 70%, in contrast.

Following bladder cancer therapy, children are not subject to a set follow-up regimen. To ensure that the cancer hasn't returned, your child will probably need to undergo either a cystoscopy, ultrasound, or both regularly.


FAQs

What causes bladder cancer in children?

Children who received treatment for cancer using particular anticancer medications known as alkylating agents—such as cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, busulfan, and temozolomide—have a higher chance of developing bladder cancer.

What is the youngest age for bladder cancer?

In those under the age of 20, bladder cancer is quite uncommon. This age range accounts for far less than 1% of bladder cancer cases, and the prognosis for these young patients is typically better than that of adult patients. The bulk of tumours, according to our research, are low-grade indolent tumours, says Dr.

How does pediatric cancer start?

Like malignancies in adults, the majority of cancers in children are believed to arise from gene abnormalities that cause unchecked cell development and, ultimately, malignancy. These gene alterations in adults are a result of ageing's cumulative effects as well as prolonged exposure to chemicals that cause cancer.


Takeaway

It is uncommon for children to have bladder cancer. Urothelial carcinoma is the most prevalent kind when it does develop.

Surgery is used to remove the malignancy in children with bladder cancer. The prognosis for paediatric bladder cancer is usually excellent because the majority of these cases don't spread quickly.

Urine with blood is the most typical sign of bladder cancer. Blood in the urine may indicate a noncancerous disease like a urinary tract infection, but it's still crucial to have your child checked out by a paediatrician. To determine the cause, they can request tests.

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