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Childhood Cancer Statistics 


Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. Every day, 42 children are diagnosed with cancer and the average age of diagnosis is 6. Cancer affects all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic groups and more than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year. [Source: CureSearch]

The causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown, and for the most part they cannot be prevented. A few conditions, such as Down syndrome, other specific chromosomal and genetic abnormalities, and ionizing radiation exposures, explain a small percentage of cases. Children with AIDS have an increased risk of developing certain cancers, predominantly non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma. [Source: CureSearch]

The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8, causing a child to lose 69 years of expected life. [Source: Kids V Cancer]

Incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years. [Source: Kids V Cancer]

The National Cancer Institute spends less than 4% of its budget on Children’s Cancer. [Source: Kids V Cancer]



Childhood cancer is not one disease entity, but rather is a spectrum of different malignancies. Cancers found in children are biologically different from those seen in adults.The 10 most common types of childhood cancer are as follows:

Leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia)
CNS, brain, and spinal cord tumors
Lymphomas, (including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
Skin cancer and melanomas
Soft tissue tumors (including rhabdomyosarcoma)
Germ cell tumors
Bone cancers (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)
Renal cancer (including Wilms tumor)

Among the major types of childhood cancers, leukemias and cancers of the brain and central nervous system account for more than half of new cases. [Source: St. Jude]

The death of a child is one of the most traumatic events a family might face. Families who have lost children are often financially and emotionally depleted.

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