Facts About Childhood Cancer

Every September, we honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) by recognizing the thousands of children and their families dealing with cancer diagnoses. 

Children battling cancer often spend countless hours, weeks, and sometimes months in hospitals receiving treatment, meaning they spend critical years of their youth separated from their family and friends and often miss out on the magic of childhood. That’s where Starlight comes in. 

Through fun and engaging programs, Starlight helps children find happiness during long hospital stays and intensive treatments. 

To better support these children, their families, and their journeys take a few moments to read these facts and learn more about childhood cancer.

  • There are more than 12 main types of childhood cancer and over 100 subtypes. 

  • Childhood cancer is not the same as adult cancer. While adult cancers are often caused by environmental factors, such as smoking and sun exposure, childhood cancers are often caused by mutations in their DNA—and most are not caused by inherited DNA changes. Because of this, they are more likely to impact the development of organs. 

  • More than 95% of children who were treated for cancer are likely to suffer chronic health conditions later in life versus children without a history of cancer. 

  • Every year, an estimated 400,000+ 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. 

  • 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old, with roughly 47 children being diagnosed every day in the US. 

  • 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer is already living in poverty. 

  • Roughly 80% of childhood cancer patients will 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.” 

  • Upwards of 483,000 childhood cancer survivors, diagnosed between ages 0-19, reside in the US. 

  • It is estimated that 1 in 530 young adults is a survivor of childhood cancer.

Educating yourself, your family, and your friends is just the first step. Take the next step and help deliver moments of comfort to children battling cancer.

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