Some Facts About Cancer

Childhood Cancers are cancers that primarily affect children, teens, and young adults. When cancer strikes children and young adults it affects them differently than it would an adult.

Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, have largely failed. Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. (Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis).

Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.

The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and at this time cannot be prevented. (Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation and other exposure to cancer-causing agents).

Nationally, childhood cancer is 20 times more prevalent than pediatric AIDS, yet pediatric AIDS receives four times the funding that childhood cancer receives.

On the average, 12,500 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year.

On the average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer.

On the average, every high school in America has two students who are a current or former cancer patient.

In the U.S. about 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single school day. That’s about the equivalent of two entire classrooms.

While the cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group, 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is elusive.

Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including: brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas, relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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