What Parents Should Know About Childhood Cancer

Childhood cancer accounts for a mere fraction, or less than 1%, of total cases of cancer. Nonetheless, the diagnosis of childhood cancer can be wrenching for families. Improvements in treatment, however, allow the majority of kids to survive their cancer. In fact, today more than 80% of kids with childhood cancer live at least five years or more, according to the American Cancer Society. Most are long-term survivors, and commonly, the cancer never comes back.

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‘Cancer can’t hold me back anymore’: Teen survivor speaks about anti-bullying

When Ryane Nethery was three years old, she was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour, a rare form of kidney cancer that mostly affects children. The Calgarian was forced to undergo surgery to remove the tumour, which had grown to the size of a watermelon, and then endured nine months of radiation and 10 months of chemotherapy. Though Nethery was eventually able to attend kindergarten, she soon found herself experiencing problems of a different kind.
“I had to cut all my hair off due to chemotherapy [and] I had big splotches missing,” she said, adding that other students would ask her what had happened to her hair. Now 15, Nethery is a cancer survivor. But in the aftermath of the disease, she now has a serious heart condition and a learning disability. She said those circumstances have led to instances of bullying from her peers.

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