September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM), a time to recognize the thousands of children and their families dealing with a cancer diagnosis and to underline the importance of life-saving research.
Children battling cancer often spend countless hours, weeks, and sometimes months in hospitals receiving treatment—this means spending critical years of their youth separated from family, friends, and good old-fashioned fun. That’s where Starlight comes in.
Through fun and engaging programing, Starlight helps children find happiness during long hospital stays and intensive treatments.
In order to better support these children and their journeys, take a few moments to read these 5 facts to learn more about childhood cancer.
More than 80% of U.S. childhood cancer patients now become long-term survivors. With advancements in therapies and medicine, cancer treatments are saving children’s lives, but can lead to health issues down the road—which is why they are often called “long-term survivors.” 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 is not the same as adult cancers. While adult cancers are often caused by environmental factors, such as smoking and sun exposure, that is not the same as childhood cancers. Childhood cancers are often caused by mutations or “spelling mistakes” in their DNA—and most are not caused by inherited DNA changes.
80% of childhood cancer patients are diagnosed in a late stage of the disease. Unlike most adult cancers, childhood cancers do not have any recommended preventative screenings to catch the disease early. This often means that a child is going to need more intense, aggressive therapies.
Every year, an estimated 300,000+ new cases of cancer affect children worldwide. That means more than 800 children and families are receiving some of the worst news they could possibly imagine every single day.
One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old. That is an estimate of 15,780 children in the US having their whole world turned upside down and a long battle ahead of them.
Educating your yourself, family, and friends is just the first step. You can take the next step and help improve the of life of children with cancer today.
Innovative programs like Starlight VR, Starlight Hospital Wear, and Starlight Gaming bring the best in play and other fun experiences directly to hospitals to deliver moments of joy and normalcy to hospitalized kids.