Cancer is a serious subject, but anyone who looks into a child’s eyes may be more hopeful when it comes to this disease. It’s a fact that around 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, reports WSAV news. These cancers vary in type, and they do include lung cancer. Learn more about mesothelioma as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month continues this September. There’s hope for children around the world as science fights this disease.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a specific type of lung cancer. It affects the pleural lining within the respiratory system. This lung cancer doesn’t stem from years of smoking cigarettes, however.
It’s linked to asbestos exposure. Fibers from asbestos installed on ships, airplane and within buildings were constantly inhaled into the lungs by unsuspecting employees. After many years, the fibers that were lodged in the lungs started to mutate cells. Mesothelioma was the result.
This disease impacts adults more so than children. The cases that do impact children, however, will pull at the heart strings. No child should have to deal with this serious ailment.
The Rarity in Children
The Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center reports that mesothelioma isn’t in the top-five cancers for children. This fact, however, doesn’t mean that the ailment shouldn’t be pursued with great focus.
The children who do develop mesothelioma have a challenge ahead of them. Their lungs are still developing as children. The cancer tumors create a barrier to healthy breathing and respiratory ease. With more research, eradicating mesothelioma from children may be possible in the next few decades.
Mesothelioma has another feature that’s often overlooked. If a child has absolutely no history of asbestos exposure, it’s possible for genes to play a role. As Springer Nature Limited reports, there are many genes associated with cancers. Lung cancer may be one of them.
The BAP1 gene has been closely analyzed over the past few years. This gene might hold the key to solving some bouts with lung cancer. Children may benefit the most from this research.
Fighting Current Survival Rates
Children are tough individuals. Their youth may seem to have a power all of its own. However, the survival rates for mesothelioma in children are just as serious as adults. Remission has only occurred in a few individuals. It lasts less than five years as well.
Science is working on both cancer prevention and treatment. Children who’re at high risk for asbestos exposure, such as from parents’ workplaces or tainted toys, must be evaluated more often than other children. Early warning signs of cancer must be commonplace knowledge among parents. Overlooking certain signs can lead to a serious diagnosis. Catching cancers in their early stages will always give children a better chance at a healthier life than before.
Every September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is observed. At some point in the future, the world would like to change this month into a celebration of a cancer cure. Until then, children and adults together will continue the fight against cell mutation and disease progression.