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Common Childhood Cancer Types

Published: 2009/02/02 - Updated: 2023/01/28
Author: Thomas C. Weiss - Contact: Contact Details
Peer-Reviewed: N/A
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On This Page: Summary - Defining Childhood Cancer - Main Article - About/Author

Synopsis: Information on common childhood cancers, including leukemias and forms of liver cancer that occur in children. In the United States, in 2022, an estimated 10,470 new cancer cases will be diagnosed among children from birth to 14 years, and about 1,050 children are expected to die from the disease. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children ages 0 to 14 are leukemias, brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and lymphomas.



Childhood Cancer

Childhood cancer is defined as cancer in a child. In the United States, an arbitrarily adopted standard for ages 0 to 14 years inclusive. However, the definition of childhood cancer sometimes includes adolescents between 15 and 19 years old. Pediatric oncology is the branch of medicine concerned with diagnosing and treating cancer in children. Cancer is a leading cause of death for children and adolescents. Unlike cancer in adults, most childhood cancers do not have a known cause. The likelihood of surviving childhood cancer diagnosis depends on where the child lives: in high-income countries, more than 80% of children with cancer are cured, but in many LMICs, less than 30% are cured. The most common childhood cancers include leukemias, brain cancers, lymphomas, and solid tumors, such as neuroblastoma and Wilms. Children's cancers are not always treated like adult cancers. Pediatric oncology is a medical specialty focused on caring for children with cancer.

Main Digest

In the United States, in 2022, an estimated 10,470 new cancer cases will be diagnosed among children from birth to 14 years, and about 1,050 children are expected to die from the disease. Although cancer death rates for this age group have declined by 71 percent from 1970 through 2019, cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children ages 0 to 14 are leukemias, brain, and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and lymphomas.

The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has included Child Neuroblastoma as a Compassionate Allowance to expedite a disability claim.

Common Types of Childhood Cancer


Leukemia is a form of cancer that affects the bone marrow and tissues which produce circulating blood cells and is the most common of all childhood cancers.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. Nearly 75% of children with leukemia have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which is a cancer of the lymphoid cells within the bone marrow and the lymphoid organs of the body; all of which are involved in the body's immune system.

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, also known as Acute Non-lymphatic Leukemia, is a cancer of the Myeloid blood cells. Myeloid blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and help fight bacterial infections.

Cancers of the Central Nervous System

Brain tumors

Gliomas are the most common forms of Brain Tumors, although there are many.


Neuroblastomas are a form of cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. This cancer usually starts in the adrenal glands, seated above the kidney.


Sarcomas are cancerous tumors involving bones and soft tissues.

Bone cancers


Osteomas are Bone Sarcomas, the most common type of bone sarcoma. Tumors are often found growing at the end of long bones of the extremities near the joints.

Ewings Sarcoma

A Ewings Sarcoma is a form of bone cancer that often appears in the middle of a bone. This form of cancer is usually found in the middle of bones in the thighs, upper arms, hip bones, and ribs.

Soft Tissue Sarcomas


Rhabdomyosarcoma is a form of soft tissue sarcoma which forms in the muscles. Rhabdomyosarcomas are usually found in a person's legs, arms, bladder, kidneys, neck, or head.


Lymphomas are tumors in the lymph tissues, parts of the human immune system. The different types of Lymphoma include:

Hodgkin Disease or Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Hodgkin's Disease, or 'Hodgkin's Lymphoma,' is cancer affecting the lymph nodes closer to the body's surface. These lymph nodes are found in the neck, armpits, and groin area.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a form of cancer affecting lymph nodes found deep within the body. These Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are of varying types, including Burkitt's, non-Burkitt's, and lymphoblastic lymphoma.

Liver Cancers

A tumor, or abnormal growth in the liver, is known as Liver Cancer. There are some common forms of Liver Cancer in children, and they include Hepatoblastomas and Hepatocellular Carcinomas.

Cancers of the Kidney

Kid cancers also affect children and their different forms. The forms of Kidney cancer that affect children include Wilms Tumor, or nephroblastoma,' and Clear Cell Sarcoma.

Other Types of Cancers


Retinoblastoma is a form of cancer that affects the retina in a child's eye. The retina is a thin membrane in the back of the eye.

Germ Cell Tumors

Germ cell tumors usually appear in the testes of boys, the ovaries of girls, and the bottom of the spine. Germ cell tumors may also appear in the middle of the brain, in the chest, or the abdomen.

Resources That Provide Relevant Information

Author Credentials:

Thomas C. Weiss is a researcher and editor for Disabled World. Thomas attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.

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Cite This Page (APA): Thomas C. Weiss. (2009, February 2). Common Childhood Cancer Types. Disabled World. Retrieved October 4, 2023 from

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