Childhood Cancer

Note: The information on cancer types on the ACRF website is not designed to provide medical or professional advice and is for information only. If you have any health problems or questions please consult your doctor.


Childhood Cancer Overview

Typically, children’s cancers are diagnosed in patients under 15 years old. Children’s cancers are rarer than adult cancers. They differ significantly from the cancers which affect adults, as they tend to occur in different parts of the body and,when, viewed under a microscope, they look quite different. As a result, children’s cancers require a specific treatment approach.

Learn more about cancer in children at The dedicated childhood cancer site hosts information and latest cancer research news in one place.

Childhood Leukaemia

Leukaemia is the most common of all childhood cancers. Leukaemia is a cancer of the blood. Leukaemia cells are immune (white) blood cells that do not work properly and crowd out healthy blood cells.

If treatment with conventional chemotherapy is not successful, then a bone marrow transplant is possible. Most cases of leukaemia occur in children under 10 years of age.

The most common types of childhood leukaemia are:

Childhood Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and lymphoid tissues.

The cancerous cells do not work properly to protect the body and they crowd out healthy cells of the immune system.  It is the third most common cancer in Australian children.

Childhood lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system.

The lymphatic system includes:

  • Lymph: Colourless, watery fluid which carries white blood cells called lymphocytes.
  • Lymph vessels: A network of thin tubes that transports lymph through to the bloodstream.
  • Lymph nodes: Small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph and store white blood cells that help to fight infection. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarm, pelvis, neck, abdomen and groin.
  • Spleen: An organ that makes lymphocytes, filters the blood, stores blood cells, and destroys old blood cells.
  • Thymus: An organ in which lymphocytes grow and multiply.
  • Tonsils: Two small masses of lymph tissue at the back of the throat.
  • Bone marrow: Makes white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

Because lymph tissue can be found through the entire body, lymphoma can start anywhere in the body and spread to almost any tissue or organ in the body.

Types of lymphomas include:

LATEST Childhood Cancer

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Cancer Research Discoveries | ACRF

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