top of page

Why is childhood cancer so different?


The cancers that strike kids—and there are many—are different from adult cancers:

  • Childhood cancers are not related to lifestyle factors.

  • Even when kids get cancers that adults get—like lymphoma—they must be treated differently.  Children are not simply smaller adults!

  • Many adult cancers can be diagnosed early. In 80% of kids, cancer has already spread to other areas of the body by the time it is diagnosed.

  • There are over a dozen types of childhood cancers, and countless subtypes, making it more challenging for researchers to find cures for every kid. (Source: St.Baldrick's Foundation)

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents in the United States. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

  • 7 children die because of cancer every day.

  • 43 children are diagnosed with cancer every day.

  • One out of every 300 males and one out of every 333 females in America will develop cancer before their 20th birthday. (Source: American Society of Clinical Oncology)

  • More than 40,000 children in the U.S undergo treatment for cancer each year. (Source: CureSearch)

  • The causes of most pediatric cancers remain a mystery and cannot be prevented. (American Cancer Society)

  • Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class or geographic region. (Source: Centers for Disease Control data)

  • Nearly 2/3  of the survivors later experience significant and chronic medical problems or develop secondary cancers as adults that result from the  treatment of their original cancer. (Source: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital)

  • Incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

  • In the last 20 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only three pediatric cancer drugs that were initially studied in children. Other drugs for children’s cancers were first studied in or approved for adults with cancer. (American Association for Cancer Research)

  • The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8, causing a childhood cancer victim to lose 69 years of expected life years; a significant loss of productivity to society. (Source: Kids V. Cancer)

  • Childhood cancer survivors are at significant risk for secondary cancers later in life. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

  • Cancer treatments can affect a child’s growth, fertility, and endocrine system. Child survivors may be permanently immunologically suppressed. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

  • Radiation to a child’s brain can significantly damage cognitive function, or if radiation is given at a very young age, limiting the ability to read, do basic math, tell time or even talk. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

  • Physical and neurological cognitive disabilities resulting from treatment may prevent childhood cancer survivors from fully participating in school, social activities and eventually work, which can cause depression and feelings of isolation. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

Childhood Cancer Awareness ribbon is GOLD


bottom of page