What is Childhood Cancer?

Cancer is a general term given to diseases caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

Awareness of and attention to adult cancers has grown exponentially over the past decades, but unfortunately, there is much less awareness of and knowledge about childhood cancer.

Types of Cancer in Children

In the United States in 2017, an estimated 10,270 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed among children from birth to 14 years, and about 1,190 children are expected to die from the disease.

Although pediatric cancer death rates have declined by nearly 70 percent over the past four decades, cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children.

The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children ages 0 to 14 years are leukemia, brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and lymphomas.

43 children per day or 15,780 children per year are expected to be diagnosed with cancer.

More than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a significant health related issue by the time they are 45 years of age. These health related issues are side-effects of either the cancer or more commonly, the result of its treatment.

Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children.

Since 1980, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer.

Only three drugs (teniposide and clofarabine, and Unituxin for use in high risk neuroblastoma) have been approved for use in children. Only four additional new drugs have been approved for use by both adults and children.

The average cost of a stay in a hospital for a child with cancer is $40,000.

Only 4% of federal government cancer research funding goes to study pediatric cancer.

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