Many of today’s treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation, haven’t improved in years. They have significant side effects that affect children’s growing bodies for the rest of their lives.
Today we only have 6 drugs that were approved in the first instance for use in cancer treatment for children. We need treatments for kids that are targeted – ones that can seek out and destroy cancer cells only, leaving healthy ones alone.
Childhood cancer is still a big problem because:
- Cancer in children is different from cancer that develops later in life. Some of the side effects of cancer treatments cause more harm to children than they do adults. This is because children’s bodies are still growing and developing, so cancer and its treatment are more likely to affect developing organs.
- One in five children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. will not survive, and for those who do, the battle is never over.
- By the age of 50, more than 99% of survivors had a chronic health problem, and 96% have experienced a severe or life-threatening condition caused by the toxicity of the treatment that initially saved their life, including brain damage, loss of hearing and sight, heart disease, secondary cancers, learning disabilities and more. Read more about post-treatment and survivorship research.
- One in four families lose more than 40% of their annual household income as a result of childhood cancer treatment-related work disruption, while one in three families face other work disruptions such as having to quit or change jobs. Learn more about how we support families fighting childhood cancer.