Stories about: Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Genetic cancer risk: Should your child be tested?

A doctor examines a toddler in the office
Dr. Junne Kamihara examines a patient [PHOTO: SAM OGDEN/DANA FARBER]

If your child could be at risk for cancer, the sooner you discover that risk, the more you can do to prevent cancer or catch it in an early stage. Not every child needs to be tested, so it’s important to learn what genetic testing is and whether it’s the right decision for you and your child.

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What you need to know about liver tumors in children

Young boy in hospital for liver tumor treatment
Ziad was treated for hepatocellular carcinoma by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. “It is exceedingly rare for hepatocellular carcinoma to occur in a child of Ziad’s age,” says Dr. Allison O’Neill.

Pediatric liver tumors are rare, comprising only 1 percent of all childhood cancers. There are two main types of liver tumors in children:

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What are the most common symptoms of childhood cancer?

Girl with leukemia visits with doctor
Emma Duffin and Dr. Leslie Lehmann (PHOTO: SAM OGDEN)

Childhood cancers are very rare; in fact, they make up less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed annually. Therefore, there are not any regular screening tests, unless a child has an increased risk due to genetic predisposition. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at some of the common childhood cancer symptoms, and when parents should seek advice from a doctor.

The symptoms of childhood cancer can be difficult to recognize because they often mimic those of typical childhood illnesses, such as the common cold.

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Battling aplastic anemia: Clinical trial gives hope to Eli and his family

Eli, who has aplastic anemia, smiles while getting a transfusion
PHOTOS: SAM OGDEN

When Eli came home from baseball practice this past April with bruises on his body, his mom Jessica, an internal medicine specialist, and his dad Bryan, a trauma surgeon, didn’t think anything of it. “We assumed his coach was just throwing hard pitches, because every time Eli got hit with the ball, his skin bruised,” says Jessica. But 10-year-old Eli didn’t let a few bruises stop him. He continued to play baseball and basketball, work hard in his fifth grade classroom and goof off with his two younger sisters, 6-year-old Anna and 3-year-old Sarah.

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