What Every Person Should Know About Pediatric Oncology
Nearly 30% of the U.S. population is less than 20 years old.
As a whole, pediatric cancer is relatively uncommon, affecting approximately 1-2 in every 10,000 children each year in the United States. That means there are a few cases in almost every school district.
The risk of any single individual developing cancer by age 20 is approximately one in 330.
About 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer. That is roughly the equivalent of two average size classrooms (35-46 kids) diagnosed each school day.
For children between 1-19 years old, cancer is the fourth leading cause of death overall, and the leading cause of disease related death. It remains responsible for more deaths from ages 1-19 than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS combined.
Another rough estimate would be that 150,000 potential life years are lost annually to childhood cancer.
Leukemia, tumors of the brain and nervous system, the lymphatic system, kidneys, bones and muscles are the most common childhood cancers.
From 1975-1995 the incidence of pediatric cancer increased by approximately 12% but mostly due to improved detection. The rate of most childhood cancers has been stable although the incidence of melanoma in children is increasing by 1.5-3% per year.
Mortality from pediatric cancer has been steadily decreasing (due to improved supportive care and clinical trials). In December 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 20% decline in the pediatric cancer death rate between 1990 and 2004.
The overall survival from pediatric cancer is estimated to be 75%-80%, and the majority of these are considered “cured”. (In the early 1950s less than 10%, and before the 1970s less than 50% of children with cancer could be cured).
10,730 children under the age of 15 are anticipated to be newly diagnosed with cancer. It is expected that 80% of these children will survive five years or more. Nonetheless about 1,490 children will die from cancer this year.
We are continuing to see late deaths of children presumed “cured” due to late relapses, toxicity and secondary malignancy.
Combined, the cancers of children, adolescents, and young adults to age 20 are the sixth most common cancer in the US.
It is estimated that about 1 in every 450 adults is a childhood cancer survivor.
For every six research dollars per patient with AIDS and every one research dollar per patient with breast cancer, a child with cancer receives 30 cents.
CureSearch Website CureSearch‘s mission is to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research. Additionally, they provide educational and coping resources to families affected by children’s cancer.
Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF) is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to eradicating childhood cancer by raising funds for groundbreaking research and early phase clinical trials conducted by world renowned doctors at the hospitals we support. This critical early phase funding is a stepping stone to later stage, larger institutional funding and is instrumental in providing novel treatments and potential cures.