An average of 328 children, adolescents and young adults (0-24 years) are diagnosed with childhood cancer in Ireland every year.
A GP may only see one or two cases of childhood cancer in their career.
The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust is an excellent resource for clinicians, with information and publications available for GPs and public health nurses, as well as information on caring for children with cancer, tumours and types of cancer and bereavement.
With thanks to the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, we bring you the chart below and the following guidelines for identifying childhood cancer in patients.
- children presenting with two or more red flag symptoms (see below)
- Three or more presentations for the same problem (consider referral)
- marked parental concern
Unfortunately the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer often present as normal childhood illness
- symptoms that are persistent, unusual or worsening – for example well localised pain that wakes a child up from sleep.
- recurrent attendances (thought to increase the chance of a cancer diagnosis up to ten fold).