Facts About Cancer

We're learning more about cancer every day. Knowing all there is to know can be a daunting proposition. That's why The Childhood Leukemia Foundation has assembled the following list of fundamental facts about cancer. Please feel free to let us know if you require additional information not already furnished for you here.

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States.
  • 1 in 330 children will have the disease by age 20. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) accounts for approximately 74% of the leukemia cases among children 0- 19 years.
  • The median age when a child gets cancer is age 6.
  • Approximately 10,730 new cases of pediatric cancer are expected to be diagnosed in children ages 0-14 this year, or the equivalent of an average classroom of 30 children being diagnosed with cancer every day.
  • The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented.
  • Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.
  • The incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other age group.
  • Children with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing leukemia.
  • The length of treatment for childhood cancer ranges from 3 months to 2.5 years.
  • 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.
  • Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
  • 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 still elusive.
  • Despite these facts, childhood cancer is vastly and consistently underfunded. Please help.

Family and Parent Web Sites

Band Aides and Blackboards
Provides a peek into the world of children and teens with serious medical problems.

Home Care Guide from Penn State University
A Web site that addresses parents of children with cancer who are returning to school, but much of the information is geared to the teacher.

Washington University Department of Pediatrics
A Web site that offers resources for children, families and teachers.

My Child Has Cancer: A Parent's Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survival
By Della L. Howell M.D.

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