TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Health Promotion Administration (HPA) highlighted the importance of early discovery and treatment of childhood cancer in a press release published on Tuesday (Sept. 7) for “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”
HPA Director-General Wu Chao-chun (吳昭軍) said that according to the administration’s cancer registration database, every year in Taiwan there are approximately 500 new cases of cancer in people under the age of 18.
According to the HPA, while most causes for childhood cancer remain unknown, juvenile cancer patients have a higher survival rate of nearly 80%, compared to adult patients’ nearly 60%. Additionally, the earlier cancer is discovered in a child and the earlier treatments begin, the more likely it can be cured.
In order to discover childhood cancer as early as possible, Director-General Wu and Childhood Cancer Foundation Chair Lin Tung-tsan (林東燦) urged parents and teachers to watch out for the following symptoms:
- Fever: fevers that last for over a week for unknown reasons
- Redness: bruises, red blood spots, mucosal bleeding (such as nosebleeds and gum bleeding), or bruises around the eye
- Bloating: bloating of lymph nodes around the neck, armpits, and groin areas for unknown reasons, especially if the bloating exceeds two centimeters, is fixed, and is not painful
- Swelling: lumps on any part of the body
- Pain: pains and aches for unknown reasons, such as headaches, limbs pains (especially in legs), chest and stomach pains
- Neuro: neurological symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, double vision, weakness, loss of coordination
- Vision: retinoblastoma can be identified through ophthalmoscopy
- Lightness: weight loss and loss of appetite for unknown reasons, lower-than-average growth curve
- Paleness: pale facial color due to anemia
Should a child show any of the above signs, he or she should immediately visit a hospital for check-ups and treatments.