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10 Facts about Childhood Cancer

2013-09-09



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  1. Cancer claims the lives of more children each year than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis and diabetes combined. It is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents. *
  2. Each year in the United States, approximately 13,500 children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age are diagnosed with cancer. **
  3. Over 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year.****
  4. One out of every 300 males and one out of every 333 females in America will develop cancer before their 20th birthday. *
  5. Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class or geographic region. *
  6. About one in 500 young adults is a childhood cancer survivor. Nearly 2/3 of the survivors later experience significant and chronic medical problems or develop secondary cancers as adults that result from the treatment of their original cancer.**
  7. In the past 20 years only two new cancer drugs have been approved specifically for pediatric cancer.
  8. The causes of most pediatric cancers remain a mystery and cannot be prevented.
  9. The average childhood cancer victim loses 71 life years; a significant loss of productivity to society.****
  10. Researchers estimate that 51% of moms and 40% of dads who have a child with cancer meet the criteria for “Acute Stress Disorder” within two weeks of the cancer diagnoses. ***
* Ries LAG, Smith MA, Gurney JG, Linet M, Tamra T, Young JL, Bunin GR (eds). Cancer Incidence and Survival among Children and Adolescents: United States SEER Program 1975-1995, National Cancer Institute, SEER Program. NIH Pub. No. 99-4649. Bethesda, MD, 1999.
** Spector, L. Children’s Oncology Group Epidemiology Committee Chair. University of Minnesota.
*** Patiño-Fernández AM, Ahna LHP, Alderfer M, Hwang WT, Reilly A, Kazak AE. Acute Stress in Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed With Cancer, National Institute of Health, NIH Pub No. 170251. 2008.
**** Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2009/2010 Update, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD, April 2010, http://progressreport.cancer.gov.
***** World Health Organization GLOBOCAN2008

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