Skip navigation

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

URL of this page:

Cancer in Children


Cancer is a group of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body's cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.

Normally, new cells form as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when you don't need them, and old cells don't die when they should. The extra cells can form a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer. Malignant tumors are cancer, and the cancer cells can spread to nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Children can get cancer in the same parts of the body as adults, but there are differences. Childhood cancers may happen suddenly, without early symptoms. Some types can often be cured. The most common children's cancer is leukemia. Some of the other more common types of cancer in children include brain tumors, lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcoma.

Symptoms and treatment depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Treatments may include:

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

Diagnosis and Tests

Treatments and Therapies

Living With

Related Issues



Videos and Tutorials

Statistics and Research

Clinical Trials

Reference Desk

Find an Expert



Patient Handouts

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.