The Dire Need To Expand Research For Childhood Cancer
Have you ever wondered why childhood cancer research is so scarce? Government and pharmaceutical funding for childhood cancer research is uncommon despite the vast number of children who die from childhood cancers on a yearly basis. Let’s take a much closer look into childhood cancer.
Studies have proven that cancer is in fact the #1 disease related killer of children in the United States. Worldwide approximately one child is diagnosed with childhood cancer every 3 minutes. This corresponds to about 20 children every hour. Based on this data, nearly 1 in every 300 boys will have cancer before they turn 20 years old as compared to 1 in every 333 girls who will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20.
Children Versus Adults
Cancer in children is drastically different than cancer that affects adults. Some cancers never affect a child after the age of 5 while other cancers tend to mainly affect teenagers. If a child was to get a form of cancer that adults actually get such as lymphoma treatment for the child would be drastically different than the treatment given to an adult. About 80% of childhood cancers have already spread to other parts of the body before diagnosis as compared to adults who tend to be diagnosed rather early.
The average age in which cancer is diagnosed is 67 years of age for adults and 6 years of age for children. Adults have about 15 years of life that they lose to cancer while children have an average of 71 years of life lost to cancer. These years are crucial for children because a child could grow up, get married, and have children of their own. Children could also create something the world has never seen or be the one to actually find a cure for cancer.
Effects of Childhood Cancer
What happens to children diagnosed with childhood cancer? Well, 95% of children who survive cancer will have a chronic health condition by the time their 45 years old while 80% of childhood cancer survivors will develop a life-threatening condition during their life.
Cancer Research Trends
With so many children suffering from childhood cancer what are research companies doing about it? Slightly less than 4% of the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s cancer research budget is appropriated to childhood cancer. Pharmaceutical companies fund approximately 60% of adult cancer drug treatment but fund 0% of cancer drug development for children.
Contributing to Children Cancer Charity
Despite the lack of funding for childhood cancers from pharmaceutical companies private foundations give children the fighting chance they so rightfully deserve. Nearly 85% of children with the most common form of cancer will live today which is a major improvement from the 1950’s. However, more research has to be done for the other types of childhood cancers. If you’re considering donating to childhood cancer research make sure you’re aware of how much money is actually allocated to cancer research because it’s often less than 5% of your donation.