Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment - HowToBei

Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment


Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment

Childhood Cancer Treatment

Some types of cancer often attack children, such as blood cancer and bone cancer. Then what are the side effects of cancer treatment in children?

Not only in adults, cancer also attacks the child quite often. In fact, there are several types of cancer that more often affect children, such as blood cancer, retinal cancer, bone cancer and kidney cancer. Cancer treatments include surgical therapy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. So what are the side effects of cancer treatment in children?

Get to know cancer and cancer treatment
Cancer occurs when cells in certain organs divide very quickly, exceeding normal cells. Uncontrolled cell growth and division can cause masses called tumors.

Tumor cells will continue to eat away the surrounding healthy cells. But keep in mind, cancer can also occur in the blood so it might not cause a lump because the one that divides quickly is blood cells. Blood cancer is the most common in children.

Cancer treatment is based on the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer. In solid tumors, surgery is the main therapy before spread.

Radiotherapy can also be performed on several types of cancer before or after surgery. However, in the type of blood cancer, chemotherapy is the main choice of treatment. In some solid tumors, chemotherapy is also performed before and after surgery.

Side effects of cancer treatment in children

Compared to adults, children have lower endurance. That's why children get sick more often than adults. Similarly, the side effects of cancer treatment, children have the potential to experience side effects of cancer treatment that is more severe than adults. What are the side effects?

In surgical cancer treatment, side effects that may occur depend on the location, size, and spread of the tumor. Possible side effects from bleeding and infection during surgery until after infection.

Incomplete wound healing and tumor recurrence can also occur after surgery. In very rare cases, death can occur if there is extreme bleeding during and after surgery.

The more discussed side effects related to cancer treatment in children are the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Both can cause short-term and long-term side effects.

Side effects caused by chemotherapy usually occur throughout the body because chemotherapy drugs are injected throughout the body. The effect depends on the type of drug used, the dosage, and the general condition of the child's health.

Meanwhile, the side effects of radiotherapy are usually local because generally radiation with radiotherapy is carried out in certain areas of the body, namely at the location of the tumor. The side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in children are as follows.


  1. Fatigue (body feels weak)
  2. Flu-like symptoms include chills, coughs, runny nose, and headaches
  3. Dry mouth and throat and canker sores
  4. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficult bowel movements
  5. Skin problems such as discoloration, swelling, and blistering.
  6. Hair loss
  7. Difficulty urinating or bleeding urine
  8. Anemia
  9. Blood clotting disorders
  10. Infection


How long can side effects occur?
Most short-term side effects of cancer treatment will disappear after the cancer treatment ends. How long the side effects of these effects will disappear also depends on how long the chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment is carried out.

However, there are some types of long-term side effects that can occur over a long period of time, such as side effects on the heart, lungs, brain, kidney, thyroid gland, and reproductive organs. But again, not all children will experience these side effects. The types of side effects that occur depend on the type of drug used, dosage, duration of treatment, and general condition of the child.

Side effects of cancer treatment can indeed occur. However, this must be done by considering the benefits and disadvantages of cancer treatment in children. Parental and family support for children is needed in this condition.

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