Cancer statistics

  • 13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States
  • 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer will die.
  • Every day, 46 school children will be diagnosed with cancer.
  • One in 300 boys will develop cancer before the age of 20.
  • One in 333 girls will develop cancer before the age of 20.
  • The incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up to 29% in the past 20 years.
  • Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among US children ages 1-14.
  • In 2009, only 4% of the National Cancer Institute‚Äôs budget was used for pediatric funding.
  • Young cancer patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed.
  • The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8.
  • In 20 years the FDA has initially approved only one drug for any childhood cancer. Half of all chemotherapies used for children's cancers are 25 years old.
  • Physical and neurocognitive disabilities resulting from treatment may prevent childhood cancer survivors from fully participating in school, social activities and eventually work.
  • Cancer kills more children than AIDs, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined.

Cancer Prevention Starts in Childhood*

You can also reduce your children's risk of getting many types of cancer later in life. Start by helping them adopt a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits and plenty of exercise to keep a healthy weight. Then follow these tips to help prevent specific types of cancer;

  • Most skin cancers can be prevented if children and teens (and adults, too) are protected from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Kids don't have to be at the beach to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful UV rays whenever they're outdoors.
  • The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to start smoking, or quit if you do smoke. In 2009, one in five high school students was a current smoker. Smoke from other people's cigarettes ("secondhand" smoke) also can cause lung cancer. Talk to your children about why you don't want them to smoke, and don't expose them to secondhand smoke.

*Source: PAC2, CureSearch & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention