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Childhood Cancer Facts — United States

  • Childhood cancer research is consistently underfunded. Less than 4% of the federal budget for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancer.

  • Each day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, which means 15,590 children in the U.S. are diagnosed each year.

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in American children, resulting in the death of approximately 1,800 kids each year.

  • As of 2015, there are approximately 429,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the U.S.

  • In the United States, 84% of children diagnosed with cancer are alive at least five years after diagnosis; however this does not mean they are cured or free from long-term side effects.

  • Even those who are cured may suffer long-term side effects as a result of the cancer treatments they received. Children who were treated for cancer are twice as likely to suffer chronic health conditions later in life versus children without a history of cancer.

Childhood Cancer Facts — Global Overview

  • Every year, an estimated 300,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide. This number is most likely underreported due to many cases that go undiagnosed and a lack of comprehensive childhood cancer registries.

  • Globally, cancer stole 11.5 million years of healthy life away from children in 2017. This total could be lower, if all children received adequate care.

  • In high-income countries, approximately 80-percent of children diagnosed with cancer will be cured. In some low and middle-income countries, only 20-percent of children will survive.

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What are Types of Cancer that Develop in Children???

 

The types of cancers that occur most often in children are different from those seen in adults. The most common cancers of children are:

  • Leukemia

  • Brain and spinal cord tumors

  • Neuroblastoma

  • Wilms tumor

  • Lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)

  • Rhabdomyosarcoma

  • Retinoblastoma

  • Bone cancer (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)

Other types of cancers are rare in children, but they do happen sometimes. In very rare cases, children may even develop cancers that are much more common in adults.

 

Childhood cancer happens everywhere. In 2018, an estimated 15,590 children were diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Globally, it is estimated that 300,000+ new cases of cancer affect children each year; however, this number may be vastly underestimated due to large numbers of undiagnosed cases.

Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is consistently underfunded.

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