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Cancer remains the number one disease killer of children. cancer facts

Cancer Facts

Childhood cancer has a fearsome reputation. And, as if the pain from the disease is not enough, the treatment for cancer, too, inflicts heavy suffering on the body.

  • Close to 75% of children diagnosed with cancer can ultimately be cured!

    Some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatmant that a cure cannot be found.
  • Childhood leukemia once was a most dreaded disease that meant almost certain death for a child diagnosed with it. Today, thanks to advances in research and medical treatments, over 80% of childhood leukemia patients survive!

  • The “rate of survival” for children with cancer has improved over the years more than for any other age group due to the successes in pediatric oncology research!

    Childhood cancer survival rates have gone from 20% in the 1960's to almost 80% today.
  • Even with the amazing progress in recent years, childhood cancer is responsible for killing more children and teenagers every year than any other disease!


  • One person out of every 330 will develop cancer before age 20!

  • Each day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

  • Although cure rates are steadily increasing, 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer.

  • Cancer remains the number one disease killer of children; more than genetic anomalies, cystic fibrosis, asthma, diabetes, and AIDS combined.

  • Childhood Cancer occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.

  • Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into 12 major categories. Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet many cancers are almost exclusively found in children.

  • Childhood Cancers are cancers that primarily affect children, teens, and young adults. When cancer strikes children and young adults it affects them differently than it would an adult.

  • On the average, 12,500 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year.

  • On the average, 1 in every 4 elementary school has a child with cancer. The average high school has two students who are a current or former cancer patient.

  • The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and currently cannot be prevented.

  • Resources: National Cancer Institute, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, Candle Lighters AZ, American Cancer Society.