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The American Cancer Society’s 2014 Facts & Figures Report »

Incidence of Childhood cancer

  • Each year around 15,780 children are diagnosed with cancer in the US
  • One in every 285 Americans develops cancer before the age of twenty.
  • On the average, 36 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer everyday in the United States (around 46 per school day).
  • On the average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer. The average high school has two students who are current or former cancer patients.
  • The incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years.
  • The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented.
  • Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.
  • 35,000 children are currently in treatment for cancer.

Mortality Associated with Childhood cancer

  • cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States.
  • 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer will die within 5-years
  • 1 in 3 children diagnosed with cancer will not live-out a normal life-span (excess mortality)
  • Some pediatric brain tumors, such as brain stem gliomas and pontine gliomas, are terminal upon diagnosis and no new protocols have been developed in 30 years.
  • Many pediatric cancers, including neuroblastoma and disseminated medulloblastoma, are terminal upon progression or recurrence.
  • The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8, causing a child to lose 69 years of expected life.
  • More children die of cancer every year than adults died in 9/11.
  • Childhood cancers affect more potential patient-years of life than any other cancer except breast and lung cancer.
  • cancer kills more children than AIDs, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined.

Facts About Pediatric cancer Survivors

  • 74% of childhood cancer survivors have chronic illnesses, and some 40% of childhood cancer survivors have severe illnesses or die from such illnesses.
  • Childhood cancer survivors are at significant risk for secondary cancers later in life.
  • cancer treatments can affect a child’s growth, fertility, and endocrine system. Child survivors may be permanently immunologically suppressed.
  • Radiation to a child’s brain can significantly damage cognitive function, or if radiation is given at a very young age, limiting the ability to read, do basic math, tell time or even talk.
  • Physical and neurocognitive disabilities resulting from treatment may prevent childhood cancer survivors from fully participating in school, social activities and eventually work, which can cause depression and feelings of isolation.
  • Childhood cancer survivors have difficulty getting married and obtaining jobs, health and life insurance.