Leukemia is the cancer of the sponge-like tissue found in your bones known as the bone marrow. It is the most common childhood cancer. The cells that make up the marrow can develop into different blood cells, including white blood cells that protect the body from viruses and infections. This change in the proportion of blood cells inside the body causes children to develop symptoms of leukemia such as bruising, fever, anemia, and frequent bleeding.
There are two major leukemia types in children, known as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The primary difference between the two types is dependent on the types of cells in the marrow that become cancerous. Around 25% of childhood leukemias are AML. They can occur throughout childhood but are common in children aged 0 to 2 years. On the other hand, 75% of leukemia cases in children are of ALL, which is most common between the ages of 2 and 5.
Neuroblastomas are also types of childhood cancers. They start in early forms of nerve cells that are usually found in a developing embryo or fetus. Neuroblastomas account for 6% of cancers in children. They primarily develop in infants and young children and are rare in children above the age of 10. Neuroblastoma tumors can start anywhere, but they usually begin in the abdomen which can start to swell. They can also cause the patient to experience other symptoms such as fever and bone ache.