Monday, September 13, 2010

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Its hard enough to deal with the idea of adults being diagnosed with cancer ... but imagine being the parent of a child and hearing that diagnosis being given for them? Imagine being the child and how frightening it must be. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and while the character in A Soul Less Broken that battles brain cancer is an adult, I wanted to draw my readers to these statistics about childhood cancers:
  • Approximately 12,400 children under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • About one in 300 boys and one in 333 girls will develop cancer before the age of 20. (The distribution of boys and girls diagnosed varies by type of childhood cancer.)
  • The incidence of childhood cancer peaks in the first year of life. Neuroblastoma is the most common type of infant cancer (28%), followed by leukemias (17%) and central nervous system cancers (13%). Germ cell and soft tissue tumors were each about 6%.
  • Incidence is also higher for children ages 15-19. The most common types of cancers in ages 15-19 are Hodgkins disease 16.1%, Germ Cell Tumors 15.2%, Central Nervous System Tumors 10%, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 7.6%, Thyroid Cancer 7.2%, Malignant Melanoma 7%, and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 6.4%.
  • The types of cancer most often found in young children (neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, retinoblastoma, ependymoma, and hepatoblastoma) are very uncommon in adolescents (ages 15-19).
  • High grade brain tumors, like the type referenced in A Soul Less Broken, Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBMs), are the most common lethal tumors in adults, but also occur in children. Due to the location of the tumor, these patients may have seizures and significant paralysis at the time of diagnosis. As with adults, the treatment involves surgery (if operable), chemotherapy, and radiation. Fewer than 1 out of 3 children with these tumors become survivors.
The information listed above was provided by Cure Search for Children's Cancer. To learn more or make a donation, please visit their website.

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