Childhood Cancer Facts
- Cancer claims the lives of more children each year than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis and diabetes combined. It is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents. *
- Each year in the United States, approximately 12,400 children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age are diagnosed with cancer. Approximately 2,300 children and adolescents die of cancer each year. *
- One out of every 300 males and one out of every 333 females in America will develop cancer before their 20th birthday. *
- Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class or geographic region. *
- About one in 500 young adults is a childhood cancer survivor. Nearly 2/3 of the survivors later experience significant and chronic medical problems or develop secondary cancers as adults that result from the treatment of their original cancer.
- In the past 20 years ONLY ONE new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric cancer.
- The causes of most pediatric cancers remain a mystery and cannot be prevented.
- The average childhood cancer victim loses 71 life years; a significant loss of productivity to society.**
- Researchers estimate that 51% of moms and 40% of dads who have a child with cancer meet the criteria for “Acute Stress Disorder” within two weeks of the cancer diagnoses. ***
* Ries LAG, Smith MA, Gurney JG, Linet M, Tamra T, Young JL, Bunin GR (eds). Cancer Incidence and Survival among Children and Adolescents: United States SEER Program 1975-1995, National Cancer Institute, SEER Program. NIH Pub. No. 99-4649. Bethesda, MD, 1999.
** Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2009/2010 Update, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD, April 2010, http://progressreport.cancer.gov.
*** Patiño-Fernández AM, Ahna LHP, Alderfer M, Hwang WT, Reilly A, Kazak AE. Acute Stress in Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed With Cancer, National Institute of Health, NIH Pub No. 170251. 2008.