September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month as I am sure you have seen with your Facebook and Twitter feeds. One thing is, seeing all of the posts makes me very thankful for the healthy happy little girl I have.
Even though I am a pediatric nurse, I do not see kids with cancer that often and I am very thankful for that as well, but often times we see kids before their cancer is diagnosed. We see kids that have symptoms and we run tests for them to referred to another doctor.
In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness, in an attempt to raise awareness, I thought I would share some facts with you.
- 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20 in the U.S.
- Everyday 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.
- Adult cancer is most likely to be discovered in the early stages, but 80% of childhood cancers are diagnosed after the disease has spread to other parts of the body.
- A lot of adult cancers can be linked to lifestyle factors, but childhood cancers are not, meaning you can’t try to prevent them. The causes of childhood cancers are not well known.
- The most common types of cancers in children are:
- Ages 0-14: acute lymphocytic leukemia, brain and central nervous system, neuroblastoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Ages 15-19: Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid carcinoma, brain and central nervous system and testicular germ cell tumors
- The average age of children diagnosed is six.
- Childhood cancer does not discriminate by race, ethnicity, geographic location, or socioeconomic status.
- Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children, despite major advancements in treatment and increased survival rates.
- More than 80% of children and teens diagnosed with cancer will live for 5 years past diagnosis.
- Mortality rate has declined by more than 50% from 1975-1977 to 2007-2010.
- 1 in 530 adults is a survivor of childhood cancer.
Unfortunately a lot of people still don’t even know that children can get cancer because cancer is seen as an “adult” disease. Again, knowing all of these statistics makes me even more thankful for the healthy kids in my life.
Everyone always wants to know what they can do to help when it comes to talking to parents who have had a child pass away, or are even dealing with going through treatment. The most common thing that people need or want is money for research. Now, I know that not everyone can afford to donate, so in that case, the best thing you can do is to help let others know that childhood cancer exists. You can do that by sharing this post or any other post you like about childhood cancer.
For those of you who do want to try to donate, I suggest donating to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. There are many reasons why I suggest this over other organizations. For one, donating to other organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, generally goes towards any cancer research, which isn’t bad, but there are other benefits to donating to St. Jude’s. When a child is treated at St. Jude’s the family is never sent a bill and never have to pay for treatment, so they are able to focus on their child. Also, St. Jude shares all of it’s research with other hospitals, so any advances made there, will be shared to help kids all over the world. Lastly, 75% of the operating costs are covered by donations. This is one charity that I am passionate about and I try to donate to every year.
Then, there is this eCard that I have to share, not because my child has cancer, but just because I think it makes a good point.
Do you know someone who had a childhood cancer? Did you or your child have cancer as a kid? I would like to hear your story about childhood cancer. Either your personal story, or the story of someone you know. If you would like to write it as a guest post, let me know, you don’t even have to have your own blog.