I found these various facts online (I’m driving myself mad reading all that is available), and thought it might give some perspective:
* Childhood cancers are the #1 disease killer of children.
* One in every 330 children will develop cancer before the age of 19.
* One out of every five children diagnosed with cancer dies.
* Common cancer symptoms in children — fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection — are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.
* Three out of every five children diagnosed with cancer suffer from long-term or late onset side effects.
* When cancer strikes children and young adults it affects them differently than it would an adult – the treatments (chemo, radiation) impact puberty, learning, development, and as a result have greater long-term affects.
* Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis.
* Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.
* The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented. (Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation, and other exposure to cancer-causing agents).
* Nationally, childhood cancer is 20 times more prevalent than pediatric AIDS yet pediatric AIDS receives FOUR TIMES the funding that childhood cancer receives.
* On average, 12,500 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year.
* On average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer.
* On average, every high school in America has two students who are a current or former cancer patient.
* In the U.S., about 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single school day. That’s about the equivalent of two entire classrooms.
* While the cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group, 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer.
* Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including: brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas, relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia , and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.