Just the Facts
Signs of Childhood Cancer
•Continued unexplained weight loss
•Headaches, often with vomiting, at night or early morning
• Increased swelling or persistent pain in bones, joints, back or legs
• Lump or mass, especially in the abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis or armpits
• Development of excessive bruising, bleeding or rash
• Constant infections
• A whitish color behind the pupil
• Nausea which persists or vomiting without nausea
• Constant tiredness or noticeable paleness
• Eye or vision changes which occur suddenly and persist
• Recurrent fevers of unknown origin
“Awareness is Key to Early Detection”
Approximately one in 330 children will be diagnosed with cancer by age 19. Though it is unlikely that your child will develop cancer, as a parent, you need to be aware of the symptoms of childhood cancer. Observe your child for any sudden, persistent changes in health or behavior as listed above. Since most of the symptoms of cancer can also be attributed to benign conditions, the diagnosis of cancer can be a long process. You must trust your own instinct, be persistent and work as a team with your doctor, using your knowledge of your child and your doctor’s knowledge of medicine to protect your child’s health.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
• 1 in 330 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 19
• 12,400 children & adolescents are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. each year
• Each year cancer kills more children and adolescents than any other disease
• Approximately 2,300 children & adolescents die of cancer each year
• The incidence of cancer among children in the U.S. is rising almost 1% per year
• Each school day, 46 young people, or two classrooms of students, are diagnosed with cancer
• Cancer is the chief cause of death by disease in children between the ages of 1 and 14.
• Only 10% of the money budgeted by the National Cancer Institute is directed to pediatric cancer research
• Children may undergo treatment for as many as three years on a continuous basis, often requiring lengthy and repeated hospitalizations.
• Treatment costs may exceed available financial reimbursement of federal funding programs or private insurance companies.
• Cancer and its treatment affect every level of family functioning.
• Leukemia represents 31% of all cancer cases occurring among children younger than 15 years of age – number one type of childhood cancer (1990-1995 study)
• Central Nervous System Malignancies (2nd most common) account for 16.6% of all cancers among children
• Lymphoma – affecting 15 out of every 100 children diagnosed, is the third most common form of childhood cancer
Winning the Battle:
• The cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group
• This progress can be attributed solely to research
• The survival rate in certain pediatric cancers has increased from 50% to greater than 80% since 1985
• National Cancer Institute