As back-to-school excitement rushes through many neighborhoods, September is a month of new classes, friends and experiences. September is also dedicated as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It's difficult to imagine a child with cancer, but it occurs to hundreds of children every year. Learn about the risks for mesothelioma in children so that every family is aware of the details. Asbestos Exposure Mesothelioma has a root cause from asbestos exposure. Children who've been exposed to asbestos have a greater chance of developing cancer afterward, reports BMJ Journals. Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that was used in many industries throughout the 1900s. Because it has heat-resistant qualities, asbestos was installed on ships, airplanes and countless other locations. When the asbestos broke down into tiny particles, however, they lodged themselves into the respiratory system. Children exposed to asbestos from their parents' workplaces were instantly at risk. Fibers caught on clothing and shoes are thought to be the main culprits when it comes to mesothelioma development in children. Secondary Tumors Parents should also be aware that tumors found in the lungs may be secondary cancers, reports the Sunrise Children's Hospital. If a child develops issues with his or her lungs, parents should also evaluate the rest of the tissues. MRIs produce precise images that can tell parents if there are more tumors involved. Cancer spreads through the body if it's not evaluated and treated. Being aware of tumor development is key to survival. Environmental Impacts Children may also be at risk for lung cancer when their environment is impacted with asbestos. The BBC reports that children actually played with asbestos in the past as if it was chalk for drawing on outdoor surfaces. These children had a high level of asbestos exposure. It's unknown if childhood cancer developed within any of these children. Many of them are unaccounted for several decades later. Toys, including crayons, may have asbestos embedded in the ingredients as well. Parents must be aware of their children's toys and playing environment in order to lower the risk of lung cancer. The Road Ahead Understanding the link between mesothelioma and children has been difficult because the amount of research was limited. As Childhood Cancer Awareness Month becomes well known to people everywhere, research and funding can be prioritized. Mesothelioma is a rare disease among adults and children, but it deserves attention. With no cure at this point, children must deal with a serious ailment. The road ahead is bright, however, as immunotherapy and other treatments become available. Children exposed to asbestos and at risk for lung cancer should be given a chance to thrive with scientific advancements by their side. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is meant to inspire families to stay educated about chronic ailments and avoiding exposure to harmful substances. As scientific discoveries continue, the fight against childhood cancer has its minor achievements. At some point in the future, children may have an answer to their hopes and dreams. Eradicating childhood cancer depends on science and love to lead the way to a cure.
We also support @lillybumpus - This is a foundation for terminally-ill children, created by Lilly's mom, Trish. Lilly was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma (a rare type of bone cancer) at just 4 months old. After 14 rounds of chemotherapy and 7 surgeries, thankfully, Lilly is now cancer-free!