Quick Facts About Childhood Cancer
Worldwide, 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.
Generally, more children die of Childhood Cancer than from any other disease – more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined.
Children with cancer aren’t little adults fighting adult cancers. They require unique treatment and research.
In the 1950s, almost all children diagnosed with cancer died. Because of ongoing research, today approximately 90% of children with the most common type of cancer will live. For many other types of cancer however, progress has been limited, and for some children there is still little hope for a cure.
The Best Defence against Childhood Cancer is Awareness and Early Diagnosis
Most of us have relatively well-behaved cells. Cancer happens when some cells get out of control. A normal cell knows how to grow and divide to make new cells, and knows when to stop and die. But a cancer cell isn’t normal. It grows and spreads too fast, and it won’t die.
All those cancer cells can clump together to form a tumour. Not only can tumours grow to damage the part of the body where they start, they can also spread (or metastasize) to other organs where they do even more damage – sometimes ending a life.
The cancers that strike children, and there are many, are different from adult cancers. Many adult cancers can be diagnosed early. In 80% of children, cancer has already spread to other areas of the body by the time it is diagnosed. This is why Early Diagnosis is SO important – with early diagnosis, more lives can be saved.
Some cancers almost never strike after the age of 5; others occur most often in teenagers. Even when children get cancers that adults get such as lymphoma, they must be treated differently. Children are not simply smaller adults!
When a child gets cancer, it may be in the white blood cells or the nervous system, in the brain or bones, in the lymphatic system, muscles or kidneys. There are 12 main types of childhood cancers, and countless sub-types, making it more challenging for researchers to find a cure for every child.
Children with Cancer hope for the same things that healthy children hope for; they dream of being princesses or pirates, walking on the moon, getting married and having children. But cancer gets in the way…
For many years, researchers struggled to give Children with Cancer just a few more months of life. While many children now survive, the search goes on for cures for many Childhood Cancers.
Unfortunately, even for children who survive cancer, the battle is not over. A recent study shows that because of the treatments they had as children, by the time they’re 45, more than 95% of survivors will have a chronic health problem and 80% will have severe or life-threatening conditions.
So in addition to finding cures for childhood cancers, there is a lot of research focused on preventing the lifelong damage that results from surgeries, radiation and chemotherapies given while young bodies and brains are just developing.
Posted on 28 September, 2016, in Blog and tagged Child Cancer Awareness, childhood cancer, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Children with Cancer, Little Fighters Cancer Trust. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.