Childhood Cancer Facts: 10 Things You Should Know About Childhood Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 1, 2017

Every year, 300,000 families around the world will hear, “Your child has cancer.” But you can do something about it.

Childhood Cancer Facts

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.

2. Every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer.
That’s 300,000 kids around the world every year. Learn more about this statistic >

3. The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is 6.
But you don’t have to be a child to be diagnosed with childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is diagnosed in all ages, from newborn infants to children and young adults.

4. 80% of children diagnosed with cancer are in developing countries.
Childhood cancer is a global problem, and one institution can’t solve it alone. That’s why we fund the very best research, no matter where it takes place. Learn more about our international footprint >

5. The most common childhood cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
In the 1950s, almost every kid with ALL died. But today, thanks to childhood cancer research, about 90% of children with ALL will survive.

6. In 80% of kids with cancer, the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body by the time it is diagnosed.
That’s why so many children with cancer need to begin treatment right away. Many adult cancers can be diagnosed early. Learn more about the differences between adult and childhood cancers >

7. Much of what we know about treating adult cancers has been learned from childhood cancer research. 
Some aspects of cancer treatment today, such as combination chemotherapy, can be traced to pediatric cancer research.

8. There are over a dozen types of childhood cancer and hundred of different subtypes.
The more rare types, when added together, account for about 30% of cancers in children and adolescents. But because so few children are diagnosed with each type, it’s very difficult to do research on these cancers.

9. One in five children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. will not survive.
For the ones who do, the battle is never over.

10. Because of the treatments they had as kids, more than 99% of childhood cancer survivors will have a chronic health problem and 96% will have severe or life-threatening conditions.
By the time they’re 50 years old, survivors of childhood cancer experience about 5 severe or life-threatening chronic health conditions on average.

Children should not only survive, but thrive. We’re funding research to find cures AND give survivors long, healthy lives. Learn more about how we are taking childhood back from cancer >

Childhood cancer is a big problem, but YOU can help. Get involved this September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

6 ways you can help kids with cancer

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