Childhood Cancer Facts and Statistics
Cancer Targets the Entire Family and Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance Does Too
- Despite great progress in research for some types of childhood cancer, cancer still kills more children ages 1 through 20 than any other disease- more than AIDS, asthma, diabetes and cystic fibrosis combined!
- Childhood Cancer is the #1 disease related killer of children under the age of 15 years!
- Worldwide every 3 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer.
- The incidence of childhood cancer has increased every year for over 25 years.
- Over 175000 children and adolescents are currently being treated every year for childhood cancers. (http://www.stbaldricks.org/why-we-exist)
- The number of years of life put at risk is higher for childhood cancer than for any other type except breast cancer.
- White and Hispanic children are more likely than children from any other racial or ethnic group to develop cancer. (https://www.cancer.gov/research)
- Brain tumors remain the leading cause of cancer-related death in children. (https://www.cancer.gov/research)
- The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown, and for the most part they cannot be prevented. In rare cases, children who are at increased risk of developing a certain cancer due to inherited genetic alterations. (https://www.cancer.gov/research)
Childhood Cancer is Different from Adult Cancer
- Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors- smoking, diet and exposure to cancer-causing agents.
- The causes of most childhood cancers are yet unknown. About 80% of children show evidence that the disease has already spread at the time of diagnosis, compared with only about 20% of adults.
- The average age of an adult diagnosed with cancer is 67; the average age of diagnosis for childhood cancer is 6. A whole lifetime, career, and future family are at stake.
- Thanks to more than 50 years of research conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group and its legacy groups, there are more than a quarter of a million childhood cancer survivors now living in the United States. (https://childrensoncologygroup.org/)
- The NCI is funding a large portfolio of studies (http://fundedresearch.cancer.gov/) looking at the causes of, and the most effective treatments for childhood cancers. (https://www.cancer.gov/research)
- A very large portion of studies have been completed of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the brain, astrocytoma, neuroblastoma, and germ cell tumors. (https://www.cancer.gov/research)
NCI’s investment in research on pediatric cancer has increased 20% in the past 5 years. The discoveries from these investments have improved our knowledge of the complex set of diseases that constitute pediatric cancers and will likely contribute to reductions in mortality and improvements in treatment over time.(https://www.cancer.gov/research/progress/annual-report-nation)