Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

December = Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the UK. I don’t think I need to mention why this cause is so close to my heart but I do feel it is important to get the facts and figures out there for people to see. So here are some facts about childhood cancer for you:

The cancers seen in children are usually very different to those seen in adults and “childhood” refers to any child aged between birth and fourteen years old.

There are twelve main types of childhood cancer:
*Soft Tissue Sarcomas
*Kidney Tumours
*Brain and Central Nervous System (CNS)
*Bone Tumours (Like the one Georgie had)
*Carcinomas and Melanomas
*Gonadal and Germ Cell Tumours
*Liver Tumours
*Sympathetic Nervous System Tumours
*Other and Unspecified Tumours

Childhood cancer is quite rare and makes up 5% of all cancers. Around 1,600 children in the UK are diagnosed with cancer every year, which roughly works out at thirty one children per week. Around one in every five hundred children in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer.

The UK’s childhood cancer rates are amongst the lowest in Europe, with Northen Europe having the highest incidence rate.

Leukeamia is the most common childhood cancer. Two thirds of all childhood cancers are  leukeamia, brain and CNS tumours and lymphomas.

Surviving Childhood Cancer:
More children then ever are surviving cancer. The survival rate has doubled since the 1960’s and at least 5,600 MORE children now survive for more then five years after diagnosis.
Around 33,000 people in the UK have survived a type of childhood cancer and almost three quarters of children with cancer can now be cured of the disease.

For every ten childhood cancer sufferers – eight will now survive for more then five years after their diagnosis:
*Nearly all children diagnosed with retinoblastoma are cured.
*Survival rates for Hepatoblastoma have doubled since the 1960’s.
*Around six out of ten children diagnosed with neuroblastoma are cured.
*Eight out of ten children with kidney cancer survive the disease.
*Rhabdomyosarcoma survival rates have doubled since the 1970’s.

Childhood cancer deaths:
Cancer is the UK’s leading cause of death (from disease) in children aged up to fourteen. A fifth of all childhood deaths are down to cancer.
Brain and CNS tumours are the most common fatal type of childhood cancer.
Around two hundred and fifty children die from cancer every year in the UK.
Childhood cancer death rates have halved since the 1960’s.

Causes of Childhood Cancer:
We don’t know much about what causes childhood cancers but there are several things we do know:
*Rare genetic syndromes such as Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (what Georgie had) can greatly increase a child’s risk of developing cancer.
*Children with Down ’s syndrome have a greater risk of developing leukaemia.
*2/5 retinoblastomas are linked to a faulty gene that has been inherited.
*Children that have had radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the past are at greater risk of developing a second cancer (As Georgie did)

Blog Posts About Childhood Cancer:

Having watched a loved one fight childhood cancer, my heart breaks for every family going through the same thing. Sending lots of love to all the incredible children out there fighting cancer. 


No comments:

Post a Comment