Each year, nearly 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer and treatments remain ineffective for too many. New science promises innovative therapies with fewer side effects, and more children are surviving than ever before. But too many of those who survive pay too steep a price and suffer severe health problems later in life.
- Cancer kills more children in the United States than any other disease: about 2,500 each year.
- A child dying of cancer at age 8 loses 70 years of productive life.
- Children with cancer in the brain stem live only about 18 months. Other childhood nervous system cancers are typically fatal if they return.
- Children treated for cancer are more isolated and depressed than their peers. Young adult survivors of childhood cancers are four times more likely to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than their siblings.
- Invasive childhood cancers have increased 29% in the past 20 years.
- 43 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every day in the U.S. — that’s about two classrooms of kids.
- By 2020, there will be at least 500,000 childhood cancer survivors in the United States.
We believe that childhood cancer advocates must take action on these two most important issues: advancing the discovery and development of new treatments and improving health and well-being for childhood cancer survivors.
Therapies better targeted at children’s cancers can increase survival rates and reduce late effects. But developing new therapies for children is not profitable because childhood cancer is a small market.
Children’s Cause advocates for families and survivors with researchers, government officials and pharmaceutical industry leaders to bring safer, more effective drugs to treat children. We ensure that the needs and perspectives of children with cancer are integrated into deliberations on health care and cancer policy in Congress, FDA and NIH.
Two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors suffer from at least one severe health problem from their treatment or disease. Second cancers, heart and lung damage, osteoporosis, financial pressures, school re-integration, employment and infertility are among the challenges survivors face. Many are unaware and unprepared to face a lifetime of impaired health and quality of life.
Children’s Cause empowers survivors and families with educational materials and tools to improve their quality of life and become effective advocates for themselves and for others.