How to explain Cancer to children – podcast
Discover our scientific stories for children
The subject of this episode is a bit difficult. But I had the opportunity to meet many parents who were interested in talking to their children about cancer. Indeed, this disease can affect a grandparent, a family member or even a class friend. And it’s important to talk about it even though we all know that it’s sometimes not so easy to find the right words.
the body is a giant puzzle… made up of more than 60,000 billion small microscopic pieces. Except that these pieces are not made of cardboard, they are very much alive and they are called “cell”. Each of them has a function within the human body. Indeed, when there are many of them, they form together organs, such as the heart, bones, muscles or skin. And for the organ to function properly, the cells are well organized together. If ever one disappears, a new one will be born to replace it. Thus, a cell that quietly lives its life will suddenly receive signals that will order it to divide. Then when she has given birth to a new cell, she will resume the normal course of her life. All this to say that, of course when we are adults and have finished our growth, the number of cells does not increase like that suddenly. This process can be activated when you cut yourself, for example. The skin perceives a signal that cells are missing and they will divide to create lots of cells to fill the hole due to the cut, and make a scar. Once the operation is complete, this process stops. So that means that there are signals in our body that will tell cells to divide and others to stop making other cells. This is what makes a cell well regulated. However, a cell can sometimes get out of order. In fact, she may misunderstand the signals or may no longer hear them. It will therefore give birth to another cell, which will be, like it, out of order. Then from 2 we will go to 4, then to 8, 16, 32 and so on, until the formation of a ball, which is called tumor. And if this tumor ever wants to take up even more space, then it becomes Mister Cancer.
(podcast in french only)
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