Raising Awareness of Childhood Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 

Childhood cancer is relatively rare, but it is a devastating diagnosis that can ravage a family and create lifelong health challenges. In the United States, approximately 15,590 children and adolescents under 20 were diagnosed with cancer in 2018, according to the latest data from the National Cancer Institute. Pediatric cancers are the leading cause of death from disease of children and adolescents.

Thanks to advances propelled by cancer research, pediatric cancer death rates have declined by nearly 70 percent over the past four decades. Survivors may face long-term health effects, but they often thrive, leading full lives and bringing immeasurable joy to their families and loved ones.

This month, Cancer Research Catalyst introduced readers to Fernando Whitehead and Cami Green, two young cancer survivors whose families have graciously shared their stories with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Fernando was featured In the AACR’s inaugural Cancer Disparities Progress Report, released September 16, and Cami’s story appeared in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2020, released September 23. Patients like them provide constant inspiration for the AACR’s mission to prevent and cure cancer. 

The AACR supports a wide range of research on childhood cancer. Recently, AACR journals featured studies that examined how radiation treatment received as a pediatric cancer patient can adversely affect cardiovascular health, metabolism, and the chance of surviving adult breast cancer. The AACR’s Pediatric Cancer Working Group bridges the AACR with advocacy and legislative groups to promote the prevention and treatment of childhood cancers.  Also, the AACR is the Scientific Partner to Stand Up To Cancer, which conducts pioneering research on pediatric cancer through a Dream Team collaboration with St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 

Here are some other AACR resources on pediatric cancer.