What are the most common types of childhood cancers?

The most common childhood cancers include the following:

  • leukemia, cancer that arises in the bone marrow and blood, accounts for about 30 percent of childhood cancers
  • brain and spinal cord tumors account for about 25 percent of childhood cancers 
  • neuroblastoma, cancer that starts in early forms of nerve cells found in a developing embryo
  • Wilms tumor, cancer arising from the kidney
  • lymphoma, cancer arising from lymph nodes
  • retinoblastoma, cancer arising from the cells in the back of the eye
  • osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, both cancers that affect the bone

Among the 12 major types of childhood cancers, leukemias (blood cell cancers) and cancers of the brain and central nervous system account for more than half of the new cases. About one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias. The most common type of leukemia in children is acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The most common solid tumors are brain tumors (e.g., gliomas and medulloblastomas), with other solid tumors (e.g., neuroblastomas, Wilms tumors, and sarcomas such as rhabdomyosarcoma and osteosarcoma) being less common.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.