Childhood Cancer Facts
“Your child has cancer” are the words no parent ever wants to hear. It’s a scary time for you, your family, and friends. To help raise awareness about childhood cancer, here are some cancer facts:
1. Cancer cells are immortal. They do not die when they are supposed to. Normal cells grow, divide, and die in an orderly fashion and are replaced with new cells. Cancer happens when the immortal cells grow and spread extremely fast.
2. The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is six.
3. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in the United States.
4. Cancer is diagnosed each year in approximately 300,000 children worldwide. Survival rates depend on the type of cancer.
5. The types of cancer that develops in children are different from those that develop in adults. Environmental risk factors or lifestyle choices don’t play a role. Instead, it is mostly the result of DNA changes (mutations) in cells.
6. The most common childhood cancer is leukemia and accounts for about 28% of all cancers in children. Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow and spreads to the blood and can then spread to the organs. One common type is acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) which usually occurs between the ages 2 and 4.
7. The second most common type of childhood cancer is brain and spinal cord tumors. These account for about 26% of all childhood cancers.
8. Childhood cancer spares no ethnic or socio-economic group.