The Facts

Some Facts About Childhood Cancer

1. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the U.S. Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for children and adolescents ages 1-19, and 1 in 264 children and adolescents will develop cancer before the age of 20.
2. Every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. That’s 300,000 kids around the world every year.
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 cancers are 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.
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 the most common form of ALL will survive. There are still types of ALL that have far lower survival rates.
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.
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 hundreds 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.