Today, nearly 14 million people in the U.S. are cancer survivors and that number is expected to soar to 18 million in just 10 years.
A new report by the American Cancer Society, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), shows that this dramatic increase is due to the earlier diagnosis and better treatment of some of the most common cancers.
There are over 325,000* survivors of childhood cancer in the United States, with more than 12,000 children getting diagnosed with cancer this year.
Although the growing population of cancer survivors is great news, many patients who survive childhood cancer live with long-term effects, even after receiving the world’s best treatments. In fact, over 60% of long-term childhood cancer survivors have a chronic illness as a consequence of the therapy they received, and over 25% have a severe or life-threatening illness.
To address the unique issues of childhood cancer survivors, one of St. Baldrick’s research priorities focuses on survivorship. Some of this work includes both prevention (reducing late effects by changing current therapies) and intervention (treating patients who already have late effects).
An infrastructure grant, funded in part by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, has helped Dr. John Gates establish a Long Term Survivorship Program at his institution that aims to meet the medical and psychological needs of survivors:
“Each and every contribution is funding the quality and potential success of our children’s futures,” said Dr. Gates. “Having gone through cancer as a child and survived is not enough. We need our children to thrive as adults.”
Help survivors of childhood cancers THRIVE – Make a donation today to provide the care and support children with cancer need to live long and healthy lives.
For more info on childhood cancer survivors and the work that St. Baldrick’s is funding, check out 5 Facts about Childhood Cancer Survivors or see the full list of St. Baldrick’s grants with survivorship focus.
*Sources: Adult Primary Care after Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia by Diller and Childhood Cancer Survivors: Transition to Adult-Focused Risk-Based Care by Henderson, Friedman and Meadows.