Acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL)
Acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood cancer, defined by the overproduction of immature white blood cells (lymphoblast) that are therefore unable to fight infection by germs and other harmful bacteria. These cells can then spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is defined by the overproduction of early myeloid cells (cells that mature into red blood cells and platelets). These cells can ‘spill over’ into the blood and circulate around the body, increasing the risk of infection as well as causing anaemia and bruising because fewer healthy red blood cells and platelets are being made. Other types of myeloid leukaemias include: Juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JML), chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML), acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
Central nervous system (CNS) tumours
Central nervous system (CNS) tumours are cancers of the brain and spinal cord. They are the most common solid tumours in children and have the highest mortality rate of all childhood cancers. CNS tumours begin when normal cells in the brain or the spinal cord change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass.
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a rare but aggressive brain tumour. DIPG are scattered tumours located in the pons, which is responsible for breathing, sleeping, bladder control and balance. It is one of the most resistant cancers to chemotherapies. DIPG primarily affects children diagnosed mostly between the ages of five and nine years old and accounts for 10 – 15 per cent of all childhood brain tumours.
Ependymomas are rare brain tumours that can grow in the brain or spinal cord. Ependymomas form from ependymal cells that line the ventricles and passage ways of the brain and spinal cord. The cause of Ependymoma is not known and it is the third most common brain tumour in children.
Ewing Sarcoma is a cancerous tumour that mostly affects children 5 years or older. Ewing Sarcomas grow in the bones or in the tissue around bones, often found in legs, pelvis, ribs, arms and or spine. Ewing Sarcomas can spread to the lungs, bones and bone marrow.
Hepatoblastoma and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Hepatoblastoma and Hepatocellular Carcinoma are the two main types of liver cancer found in children. Hepatoblastoma usually affects children under 3 years of age and does not generally spread outside the liver; Hepatocellular carcinoma typically affects older children and teenagers and can spread to other parts of the body.
Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes or lymphatic system and it mostly affects teens. The abnormal lymphocyte cells form collections (tumours) in the lymph nodes or glands. Hodgkin lymphoma is distinguished from all other times of lymphoma because of the presence of a special kind of cancer cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell.
Medulloblastoma is type of brain cancer that originates in the cerebellum. It is a fast-growing, high-grade tumour, which mostly affects children and accounts for around 18 per cent of all childhood brain tumours. Seventy per cent of all paediatric medulloblastomas are diagnosed in children less than ten years of age.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system; this is the message network between your brain and other parts of the body. Neuroblastoma is the most common type of solid tumour in children under the age of five years, the average age of diagnosis is two years old. Neuroblastoma tumours can develop in the abdomen, neck or pelvis.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a cancer of the immune system affecting T and B lymphocyte cells (the infection fighting white blood cells). These cells travel to the lymph glands, thymus gland, areas of the intestinal tract, tonsils and spleen where they form tumours. There are four major subtypes of NHL in children: lymphoblastic, Burkitt, large B cell and anaplastic large cell.
Osteogenic Sarcoma or Osteosarcoma
Osteogenic Sarcoma or Osteosarcoma is the most frequently diagnosed type of bone tumour accounting for three per cent of cancers in children. Osteosarcomas usually develop from osteoblasts (cells that make growing bone) around the knee, either in the distal femur (the lower part of the thigh bone) or the proximal tibia (the upper part of the shin bone). The proximal humerous (the part of the upper arm bone close to the shoulder) is the next most common site.
Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the retinoblasts, cells that form the sensitive lining on the inside of your eye. Retinoblastoma is more common in infants from birth to three years old. About 40 per cent of these children have the congenital (genetic) form of the disease with every cell in the retina susceptible to tumour formation and both eyes are usually affected. The remaining 60 per cent have the sporadic (non-genetic) type affecting one eye.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of sarcoma. Sarcomas are soft tissue (such as muscle) or connective tissue (such as tendon or cartilage) cancers. Rhabdomyosarcoma is most common in children under the age of ten.
There are three main types of Rhabdomyosarcoma: Embryonal –the most common type, developing in the head or neck or in the genital or urinary organs; Alveolar –most often occurring in teens and located in the arms or legs, chest, abdomen, genital organs or anal area; Anaplastic – this type rarely occurs in children. Read more.
Wilms tumour account for about 90 per cent of kidney tumours in children. Wilms tumours often occur in children between three and four years of age. It becomes less common after five years of age. Wilms tumour can affect both kidneys but usually only develops in one.