Childhood Cancer the Signs and Symptoms

Childhood Cancer: what should we be looking for?

The Grace Kelly Ladybird Trust have produced awareness cards to identify warning symptoms and signs that indicate the need to have your child reviewed.​

Please remember, if your child has symptoms from this list, it does not mean that they have cancer, simply that they need to be reviewed to rule it out.​​

Childhood Cancer: what should we be looking for?

Cancer in children and young people is classed as rare, however it does occur more frequently than we think.

  • 1 in 500 children receive a diagnosis of cancer before they reach 14 years of age.

  • 1 in 285 children and young people receive a diagnosis of cancer before they reach 20 years of age.​

Seek medical advice immediately if your child:

  • Is is severe pain

  • Has blood in their urine or widespread bruising of unknown cause

  • Is having double vision or visual disturbances or an unusual white appearance of the pupils on more than one photo.

  • Has had a first seizure

  • You are extremely worried​​

Please see your doctor if your child has one of more of the following symptoms, and it is persistent, keeps recurring or you are concerned:

  • If your child is losing weight

  • Persistent sickness and nausea, especially on waking (more than a few days)

  • Your child looks pale, so that others may notice too

  • Pain that persists, or wakes your child up at night, especially when pain relief does not appear to help.

  • Your child has a new limp that is not resolving (or comes and goes)

  • Increased bleeding such as recurrent nose bleeds

  • A swelling or lump that does not go down within a few days or is seems irregular or unusually hard

  • Your child develops a new squint or it becomes more apparent

  • Back to back or constant viral illnesses or high temperatures (many children can have a couple of viral illnesses or infections close together and this can be completely normal).

  • If your child is suffering from night sweats or other symptoms that you are concerned about.​

Please remember that most of the time these symptoms are not due to cancer

However, please get your child checked if your are concerned becausefor the few children that do have cancer, early diagnosis can save lives.