Childhood Cancer Month
Globally, cancer is the #2 cause of death in children aged one to fourteen years, and the #1 killer of all children in developed countries.
More than 300,000 children develop cancer each year around the world, and 240,000 will eventually die. Only 1 in 5 children survive.
More than 85% of children with cancer (90% of children with retinoblastoma) live in developing countries, where access to expert medical care is limited. They receive less than 5% of global childhood cancer funds.
Cancer places huge burdens (psychological, financial, practical and social) on families and often mutilates regular family life. Divorce rates are as high as 80%, financial meltdown is common and risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is high in the affected child, siblings, parents and carers.
Children and their families need different approaches to medical and supportive care than adults, and often for a longer time, especially after treatment has ended but risk of relapse may remain high.
Cancer treatment often has harsher physical effects on children than on adults because their bodies are still growing. These effects can be lifelong, including increased risk of other cancers throughout life. Children who have survived cancer frequently require ongoing specialist care and understanding from the people around them, especially about the invisible legacy of cancer.
There are many types of childhood cancer, and many organizations working hard to bring cure to every child. Childhood cancer generally is uncommon, and it can be very hard to be heard as cancer campaigning focuses primarily on adult care.