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September Shines Light on Childhood Cancer

According to the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), an average of 42 American families receive the tragic news that their child has cancer every day.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and is designated to remember and honor children who have passed as well as celebrate the advancements in diagnostics and treatments. The advancements have generated five-year survival rate increases from 50% to 80%, NFCR research states.

“It is the time to come together to jointly recognize the strong effort that is needed to make meaningful progress towards fully beating childhood cancer,” says the NFCR. “It is the time to provide support in any and all possible ways.”

Here are some interesting and alarming facts about childhood cancer:

  • Childhood cancer is still the leading cause of death (by disease) in children under 15 years old.

  • Currently, the vast majority of research funding goes to adult cancer, leaving many childhood cancers under studied. Because of this, childhood cancer treatment often mimics similar adult cancer treatments without always taking into account the meaningful difference between adult and children physiology. As a result, treatments for childhood cancer are often critically toxic. They can severely and negatively impact childhood development and long-term health. In addition, the root causes of many childhood cancers are largely unknown.

  • Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, making up 30% of childhood cancer diagnoses.

  • One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday.

  • Globally, there are more than 300,000 children diagnosed with cancer each year.

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