The statistics are staggering. In 2018, an estimated 15,590 children were diagnosed with cancer in the United States. And despite this, less than 4% of the federal government’s total funding for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancers each year. This is why your support is so important. By sharing statistics and the facts about childhood cancer as well as the stories behind those numbers, researchers can move closer to innovative and specialized cures. It also helps family members better understand what their loved one is going through and what options are available to them. The Brian Morden Foundation is a charity partner of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, both based in Pennsylvania. Choose learn more to find out how the BMF supports additional research through funding projects vetted by ALSF.
CHILD CANCER STATISTICS & INFORMATION
Some disturbing facts about childhood cancer (from CureSearch.org, ALSF, and/or Candlelighters.org):
- Every day, approximately 250 kids around the world die from cancer.
- In the US, cancer is the #1 disease killer of children, cutting short the lives of more children under the age of 20 than any other disease.
- Every school day, 46 young people, or two classrooms of students, are diagnosed with cancer in this country. More than 12,500 children are diagnosed with cancer each year and over 40,000 children and adolescents are currently being treated.
- The incidence of childhood cancer has increased every year over the past 25 years.
- The federal government’s budget for childhood cancer research is only about 4% of all cancer research funding.
- The potential years of life lost to childhood cancer and the potential years of life saved by treatment exceed all other cancers with the exception of breast cancer.
- Childhood cancer is not related to lifestyle choices as it is for many adult cancers. There are no screening tests for most childhood cancers.
- There are at least 16 different types of childhood cancer including ALL, ALM, Ewing’s Sarcoma, Brain Tumors, & Lymphomas.
- Most children cannot be treated at a local hospital; families must face the disruption of traveling for treatment.
- Some signs of childhood cancer are:
Continued, unexplained weight loss
Headaches, often with vomiting, at night or early morning
Increased swelling or persistent pain in bones, joints, back, or legs
Lump or mass, especially in abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis, or armpits
Development of excessive bruising, bleeding, or rash
A whitish color behind the pupil
Nausea which persists or vomiting without nausea
Constant tiredness or noticeable paleness
Eye or vision changes which occur suddenly and persist
Recurrent fevers of unknown origin
Approximately one in 330 children will be diagnosed with cancer by age 19. Although it is unlikely that your child will develop cancer, as a parent, you need to be aware of the symptoms of childhood cancer. Observe your child for any sudden, persistent changes in health or behavior as listed above. Since most of the symptoms of cancer can also be attributed to benign conditions, the diagnosis of cancer can be a long process. You must trust your own instinct and work as a team with your doctor, using your knowledge of your child and your doctor’s knowledge of medicine to protect your child’s health.