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Childhood Cancer Facts

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:10am
Childhood cancers are the #1 disease killer of children — more than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined.

One in every 330 children will develop cancer before the age of 19.

The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.

Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into 12 major categories. Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet many cancers are almost exclusively found in children.

One out of every five children diagnosed with cancer dies.
Common cancer symptoms in children — fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection — are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.

Three out of every five children diagnosed with cancer suffer from long-term or late onset side effects.

Childhood Cancers are cancers that primarily affect children, teens, and young adults. When cancer strikes children and young adults it affects them differently than it would an adult.

Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, have largely failed. Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. (Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis).

Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.

The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented. (Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation, and other exposure to cancer-causing agents).

Nationally, childhood cancer is 20 times more prevalent than pediatric AIDS yet pediatric AIDS receives four times the funding that childhood cancer receives.

On the average, 12,500 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year.

On the average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer.

On the average, every high school in America has two students who are a current or former cancer patient.

In the U.S., about 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single school day. That's about the equivalent of two entire classrooms.

While the cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group, 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.

Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including: brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas, relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

So, now you're saying, "Wow! That's absolutely ridiculous ... what can I do to HELP???" (right?) :)

Here are some things you can do this month (and ALL YEAR ROUND, for the most part!) to support Childhood Cancer Awareness. None of these things involves any financial burden of any kind (except for eating at Chili's ... but hey, ya gotta eat right??)

Join Team Unite to become part of a unified voice against childhood cancer.

Join People Against Cancer (PAC2) to learn of efforts being made around the world to find a cure, raise awareness, and lend support.

Tell everyone you know (and even those you don't know) how you, or someone you love, has been touched by childhood cancer.

Donate blood.

Eat at Chili’s on Mon., Sept. 29, when Chili’s will donate 100 percent of profits from participating restaurant sales to St. Jude. Check your local Chili's to see if they are participating and ask how you can help.


Register to become a bone marrow donor

Let a family that's been touched by childhood cancer know you STILL CARE and haven't forgotten about their struggles ... let a family of an angel know their child remains in your heart

Sign the Cure Childhood Cancer Petition and ask your friends and family to sign, as well!

Read this article on Childhood Cancer..Where's The Money?

Offer to volunteer at a local childhood cancer center

See there? That's a LOT of stuff you can do and most of it only requires a bit of TIME and LOVE on your part. I know each and every one of you could do at least one thing on that list. Please do.

(Courtesy of Heidi Randall)
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