Cancer is a term that encompasses over 100 different diseases characterised by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. This can occur in various organs and tissues, including but not limited to the lungs, colon, breast, skin, bones, and nerves.

Detecting cancer early significantly improves survival rates. More than 50% of people diagnosed with cancer live for over 5 years, and some types of cancer have survival rates as high as 90%. Early diagnosis is crucial because early-stage cancer is more responsive to treatment and less likely to be fatal.

Siluan’s Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer

At CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, we emphasise the importance of recognising the early warning signs of childhood cancer. We use Siluan’s Early Warning Signs to raise awareness and promote early diagnosis:

  • S – Seek medical help early for ongoing symptoms
  • I – White spot in the eye, new squint, sudden blindness or bulging eyeball.
  • L – Lump on the stomach, pelvis, head, arms, legs, testicle, or glands
  • U – Unexplained fever present for over two weeks, weight loss, fatigue, pale appearance, easy bruising, and bleeding
  • A – Aching bones, joints, back, and easy fractures
  • N – Neurological signs, a change in walk, balance or speech, regression, continuous headaches with/without vomiting, and an enlarged head
Recognising Cancer-Related Symptoms

It’s essential to be vigilant for signs and symptoms that could indicate childhood cancer. These may include:

  • Aching bones, joints, back, and easy fractures
  • Unexplained lumps, bumps, or swelling.
  • Significant weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Prolonged fever
  • Eye abnormalities such as a white spot, new squint, sudden blindness, or a bulging eyeball
  • Changes in walking, balance, speech, or an enlarging head

While these symptoms can be subtle or easily attributed to other causes, it’s important to consult a doctor if they persist or worsen.

Taking Action

At CHOC, we advocate the importance of early cancer detection. If you notice any of these symptoms in a child or teen, seek professional medical help promptly. Early detection of cancer saves lives in both children and teens.

Learn More

To learn more about Siluan’s Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer and how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, click here. If you suspect a child may be showing symptoms of childhood cancer, refer them to our patient referral pathways at CHOC Patient Referral Pathways. For immediate assistance, contact the CHOC helpline at 0800 333 555.

Remember, early detection can make a significant difference in the outcome of childhood cancer. Together, we can raise awareness and save lives.

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