Childhood Cancer Facts

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the pain and suffering they endure is unfathomable.  They are alone in this experience. A childhood cancer diagnosis turns the entire family's world upside down.  Family members and friends must cope and live their lives while their child; sibling or friend is fighting for theirs.

Cancer is the number one disease killer of America's children.

  • Cancer kills more children each year than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Asthma and AIDS combined.

  • One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20

  • Although the 5 year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children will die within 5 years from the time of diagnosis.

More than 13,000 children will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. affecting 90,000 immediate family members.

  • Average treatment plan is 2 years.

  • Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant diseases at other times in life.

  • 80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.

  • Detecting childhood cancers at an early stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, is extremely difficult.

  • Cancer symptoms in children – fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection – are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.

  • Even with insurance coverage, a family will have out-of pocket expenses of about $40,000 per year, not including travel. 

What Causes Childhood Cancer?

  • Every family is potentially at risk.

  • In almost all cases, childhood cancers arise from non-inherited mutations (or changes) in the genes of growing cells.

  • As these errors occur randomly and unpredictably, there is currently no effective way to predict or prevent them.

  • Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupational hazards and exposure to other cancer causing agents. 

Childhood Cancer Research Funding

  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.

  • The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.

Surviving Brings Another Set of Problems

  • Two-thirds of children who do survive face life-long late-effects from the treatment of their disease. Of those, one quarter are classified as severe or life threatening.

  • Research on the emotional impact of childhood cancer finds that parents and siblings report even greater long term emotional impacts than the diagnosed child. 

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, EVERYONE is affected.  All family members are now Cancer Survivors moving forward in an ever uncertain and fearful world.

Make a difference in a child’s life today by helping kidsSTRONG improve the quality of live and care for children and families affected by cancer.  !!NEEDS LINK UPDATED!!