Pediatric cancer is one of those dreadful illnesses that you just cringe even hearing the words as no child should have to live in and out of the hospital system. It doesn’t end with the countless trips back and forth being administered chemotherapies or radiation either, as millions of young patients are developing another side effect from living as a cancer warrior in the form of depression and various mental health challenges later in life.
Think about what it does to the body alone just going through the motions of cancer. Now think about what missing out on simply being a kid for months or years, not being able to attend traditional schooling, or precipitate in sports could do to the mind. It’s not remotely surprising to see more and more patients reporting the need for treatment of mental health needs thereafter.
Research reported on Healthday recently that those little ones that developed chronic health ailments following cancer treatment were more prone to also developing further behavioral conditions as well. Those specifically that were cared for neuroblastoma went on to develop changes that often required the need for special education services in high school, or in college.
Also, there is definitely cause for concern for those who are between the ages of 12-16 receiving cancer treatments that they are more susceptible to struggling with depression. Handling hair loss for instance along with all of the other physical changes the body has to endure during the big fight can be daunting for kids. It’s a lot to deal with for an adult much less a child coping with the endless staring while out in public, or just feeling like a very different version of what you once were. If you suspect that your child is starting to show signs of emotional challenges or anything mental health related, please have them seen by a specialist to get them any additional help they may need. Cancer is exhausting as it is, so helping your child survive the many hurdles can bring a lot less stress for all involved.