Each year, more than 15,000 kids and young adults are diagnosed with cancer—that’s about 42 per day.
Though the 5-year-survival rate for childhood cancers has reached 80 percent, nearly 2,000 kids under age 19 die each year, making cancer the leading killer of children by disease.
And that’s just in the United States. In 2016, over 300,000 kids and young adults were diagnosed worldwide.
Childhood cancer is still a big problem because:
- Children’s cancer can’t be treated exactly like adult cancers (where most of federal research funding goes.) Current treatments are toxic, affect a child’s development and can be decades old. To treat childhood cancer in the best way possible, we need to create specialized treatments just for kids.
- The causes of childhood cancer are largely unknown. We need to study what causes childhood cancer to understand what treatments work best.
- Many childhood cancer survivors in the U.S. suffer from lifelong damage to their organs, mental health and more. We need to understand how treatments affect kids long-term so we can prevent late effects.