What is Childhood Cancer?

There are more than 100 different types of childhood cancer that can develop in different parts of the body.

According to Childhood Cancer Registry (2016 to 2020), the top three childhood cancer in Singapore are Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Central Nervous Systems Tumours (CNS Tumours).

Type of cancerSymptoms


Is the cancer of the blood where white blood cells grow abnormally and invade other tissues and organs via the bloodstream. These white blood cells crowd out and slow down the production of healthy blood cells.
  • Paleness
  • Lethargy
  • Prolonged recurrent fevers
  • Easy bruising
  • Poor concentration
  • Weight loss
  • Bone aches/ pain


Is a cancer that grows in certain cells of the immune system called lymphocytes. There are two main types of Lymphoma: Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s, the latter being more common in children.
  • Abdominal mass leading to nausea, vomiting and pain
  • Chest mass causing breathing problems
  • Lethargy
  • Jaw swelling, which may or may not be painless
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss

Central Nervous System Tumours (CNS Tumours)

Are tumours that form when healthy cells in the brain or spinal cord grow out of control, forming a mass. It affects one’s thought processes and movements, and more so for children as their brains are still developing.
  • Headache
  • Persistent nausea
  • Pain especially in the back
  • Repetitive automatic movements
  • Irritability or listlessness
  • Weakness