Today is International Childhood Cancer Day, hosted by the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organizations (ICCPO) which is represented by the American Childhood Cancer Organization in the United States. ICCPO describes the day as one in which "the strength, courage and resiliency of children with cancer and their families are celebrated."
Advances in the treatment of childhood cancers during the past 50 years have led to remarkable improvements in survival rates. Despite these advances, more children from birth to age 14 die of cancer than any other disease. Only accidents account for a larger number of childhood deaths. It’s estimated that more than 1,100 children under age 15 are diagnosed with cancer each year in California. Approximately one of every 340 children in California will develop some form of cancer before they reach 20 years old.
From 2005-2009, 9,101 children ages 0-19 in California were diagnosed with cancer, a rate of 17.4 diagnoses per 100,000 children/youth, according to kidsdata.org. The rate of cancer diagnoses increased from 16.4 in 2000-2004 to 17.4 in 2005-2009. Youth ages 15-19 generally have higher rates of cancer diagnoses than children ages 0-14. In California, white children also tend to have the highest rate of cancer diagnoses among all ethnic groups with available data, although Latino children have the greatest number of diagnoses.
Find out more about childhood cancer in California and the U.S. by checking out these resources:
- California Cancer Facts and Figures, 2012, California Cancer Registry & American Cancer Society
- Outcomes for Children and Adolescents with Cancer: Challenges for the 21st Century, 05/20/2010, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Smith et al.
- National Cancer Institute: Childhood Cancers, U.S. National Institutes of Health