Facts About Childhood Cancer

  • Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • Every hour a child is diagnosed with cancer. Every 6.5 hours another young life is lost to this disease.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children under the age of 15 in the United States.
  • The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented.
  • Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region. In the United States, the incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other age group, except those over 65 years.
  • The progress in survival rates is largely attributable to improvements in treatment and patients participating in clinical trials.
  • Survival comes with a cost; 73% of pediatric cancer survivors develop at least one chronic health condition because treatments are so harsh.
  • Late effects include secondary cancers, heart and lung damage, infertility, and hepatitis.
  • Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.
  • Only 3.8% of all cancer research funding allotted by the federal government goes to children.

Sources: National Cancer Institute, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and St. Baldrick’s Foundation

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