Quick Facts About Childhood Cancer


awareness_ribbon_with_heart_Each year thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer – Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every 2 minutes.

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.

 

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About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 28 September, 2016, in Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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