Every year, 300,000 families around the world will hear, “Your child has cancer.” But you can do something about it.
If you want to get involved in the fight against childhood cancer, here are 10 facts you should know.
1. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the U.S.
It’s the second leading cause of death (following accidents) in children ages 5-14.
The Furco family spent their holiday vacation traveling somewhere they’ve dreamed of going — to Italy with their child Ambassador Abby, who had cancer. How’d they do it? Read on for 11 travel tips from Abby’s mom, Patty, who is ready to share how you can successfully take a child with medical needs on a trip of a lifetime.
Ambassador Abby pretends to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa while on vacation in Italy.
Traveling with family is tough. But vacationing with a child in treatment or with ongoing medical needs brings it to another level. It takes a lot of forethought, from the what ifs, to making sure you have the right supplies, to planning for proper medication storage during travel – whew, it’s exhausting just thinking about it. But all the hard work is so worth it.
Being bald means thinking about hair (or scalp) care in a whole new light. Fortunately, taking care of a shaved head is easy with these six tips.
Every year, tens of thousands of men, women, and kids shave their heads for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They do it for one reason: to cure cancer. That’s right — in 2018, nearly 32,000 people will shave their heads for St. Baldrick’s, raising money for childhood cancer research. That’s a lot of bald heads!
Learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation >
Whether you’ve recently shaved or you’ve been sporting the no-hair look for years, do you know the best bald head care practices? Neither did we, so we turned to the men and women who have helped more people go bald than anyone else we know: our St. Baldrick’s barbers.
Hair care professionals from across the U.S. answered our call for advice, and they gave us some great tips! Here’s what our barbers had to say:
We get this question a lot — who is St. Baldrick of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation?
Is he the patron saint of the shaved? Does he have something to do with male pattern baldness? Would he be the wrong guy to pray to for a good hair cut?
No, no, and — maybe?
What we’re trying to say is that a saint named Baldrick doesn’t really exist.
(We know you’re disappointed, but we promise it gets better!)
The name St. Baldrick’s is a mashup of St. Patrick’s Day and the word “bald” — two things which sum up the humble beginnings of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer foundation that funds grants for childhood cancer research through shaving events and other fundraisers across the globe.
Dr. Edward Allan Sison, a former St. Baldrick’s Fellow, is a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Cancer Center. He’s researching ways to make chemotherapy more effective in children with high-risk leukemias. He explains APL leukemia symptoms, treatment options, and how your support is moving research forward to help kids with this disease.
What is acute promyelocytic leukemia?
Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells. Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) comes from a type of white blood cells called promyelocytes.
Normal promyelocytes will grow up into white blood cells that fight off infection. In APL, the promyelocytes forget that they are supposed to grow up, and instead multiply at a very fast rate.
Dr. Gordon Cohen is a St. Baldrick’s Fellow at the John Hopkins Children’s Center. He’s testing new drugs for patients with Ph+ALL who relapse or fail to respond to treatment. He explains Ph+ALL symptoms, treatment options, and how your support is moving clinical trials forward to help kids with this disease.
What is Ph+ALL?
Philadelphia Chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ALL) is a rare subtype of the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo is a St. Baldrick’s researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a member of the St. Baldrick’s Scientific Advisory Committee. He explains what Langerhans cell histiocytosis is, how it’s diagnosed and treated, and how research is helping kids and adults with this disease.
What is Langerhans cell histiocytosis?
Langerhans cell histiocytosis, often called LCH, is a disorder where the body produces too many Langerhans cells.
A Langerhans cell is a type of white blood cell that normally helps the body fight off infection. In LCH, the body produces too many of these cells. The cells build up in the body, sometimes damaging organs or forming tumors.
Why do kids get cancer? That’s the big question we asked Dr. John Maris, who co-leads the SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. Researchers are working hard to find the answers because they could hold the cures to kids’ cancer.
Why do kids get cancer? In short, there’s no single, easy answer.
The answer is complicated, said Dr. Maris.
Dr. Ralph Ermoian is a radiation oncologist and St. Baldrick’s infrastructure grant recipient at the University of Washington. He explains what proton therapy is, how it works, and how this treatment is helping kids and adults with cancer.
What is proton therapy?
Proton therapy is a type of radiation used commonly for children with cancer. Like traditional x-ray radiation, it is used to treat cancers, but proton therapy affects less of the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
Surviving childhood cancer isn’t the end of the fight. As survivors age, heart disease and secondary cancers become two big risks, often caused by the very treatment needed to save their lives. Read on to learn more about the two main threats to survivors and how St. Baldrick’s researchers are working to help.
Since surviving a brain tumor as a child, Ambassador Grace has dealt with long-term effects from her treatment.
After beating childhood cancer, survivors should be living long and healthy lives, but that isn’t always the case.
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