Childhood cancer is currently the number one medical cause of death of children in the UK.  1 in approximately 500 children up to the age of 15 will be diagnosed annually. That’s approximately 4000 children each year in the UK.

Although many of us would recognise the signs of other more common childhood illnesses, very few of us are aware of the early signs and symptoms of childhood cancer. Whilst it is unlikely that your child has cancer, it is important to make yourself aware.

If your child displays one or more of the signs and symptoms below, you should seek medical advice.

Feeling tired all the time

Unexplained changes in behaviour or irritability

A pain that doesn’t go away

Bruising, bleeding or blood in their wee

Unexplained fever, night sweats or vomiting

Changes in the appearance of the eye, or unusual eye reflections in photos

Headaches that won’t go away

Persistent tummy pain or swelling

Problems with vision, or a new squint

Unexplained loss of weight or shortness of breath

Most importantly – You know something is wrong

If your child displays some of these symptoms, it does not mean they have cancer. Sometimes these symptoms can be the same as other normal childhood illnesses. However, unlike other childhood illnesses the symptoms of cancer do not go away. Instead they become worse.

Please remember:

  • The above symptoms do not mean your child has cancer
  • Awareness is key
  • It is important to visit your doctor if you are concerned
  • Early diagnosis can save lives


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