For this reason, doctors use the lowest possible doses of radiation and give this treatment only to children who cannot be treated successfully with chemotherapy alone. Radiation to the testicles is likely to affect both fertility and hormone production, and most boys who have this form of treatment are not able to have children later on. Some may need to take hormones.
Children who have a bone marrow transplant face an increased risk of infection, bleeding, and other side effects of the large doses of chemotherapy and radiation they receive. In addition, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) may occur in children who receive bone marrow from a donor. This means that donated marrow reacts against the patient's tissues (most often the liver, the skin, and the digestive tract) at any time after the transplant (even years later). Drugs may be given to reduce the risk of GVHD and to treat the problem if it occurs.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society A nonprofit health organization dedicated to finding the cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949 the society has provided more than $240 million for research specifically targeting blood-related cancers. The society was founded in 1949 by parents who lost their only son to leukemia and had recognized the need for the creation of a separate organization dedicated to finding cures for the disease through research. The society has grown to encompass 58 chapters throughout the country. (For contact information, see Appendix I.)
lice Crawling insects that feed on human blood that are a common annoyance in elementary schools and day-care centers. Head lice live on and suck blood from the scalp, leaving red spots that itch intensely and can lead to skin inflammation and infection. The females lay a daily batch of pale eggs, called "nits," that attach to hairs close to the scalp. The nits hatch in about a week, and the adults can live for several weeks.
Head lice are found among people of all walks of life. About six million cases occur each year among U.S. schoolchildren between ages three and 12, even among those who shampoo daily. Children are most often infected via direct contact at school by sharing hats, brushes, combs, or headrests. Pets cannot get head lice.
Neighborhood parents and the child's school, camp, or child-care provider should be notified of the infestation. Children should be checked once a week for head lice.
Head lice lay eggs at the base of hairs growing on the head. While nits can be found anywhere on the hair, they are especially common behind the ears and at the back of the neck. Because lice move so quickly, it is usually the oval-shaped nits that are seen on the hair shaft. Nits are yellow when newly laid, turning to white once they hatch. They appear to be "glued" at an angle to the side of the hair shaft and hatch within eight days. The empty eggshells are carried outward as the hair grows.
Nits should not be confused with hair debris such as fat plugs or hair casts. Fat plugs are bright white irregularly shaped clumps of fat cells stuck to the hair shaft. Hair casts are long, thin cylinder-shaped segments of dandruff encircling the hair shaft; they are easily dislodged.
Head lice and nits also can be found on eyebrows and eyelashes. If one person in a family has head lice, all family members should be checked. However, only those who are infested should be treated with lice pesticide.
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