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Leah McCabe

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About Author — Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

With 43 children being diagnosed with cancer every single day, we want to bring awareness to this devastating issue, and September is childhood cancer awareness month. As a country, we need to spread awareness and bring attention to some of the most common childhood cancers, so we can better understand what we can do to help.

Read on to learn more about the most commonly seen childhood cancers and various ways you can help the fight against childhood cancer.

The Most Common Childhood Cancers

Childhood cancer is a huge and devastating issue in our country. It is estimated that 15,780 children between birth to age 19 are diagnosed with cancer.

That means that 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before they turn 20.

There are certain cancers that are most commonly seen in children which include:

Leukemia: Cancer of the bone marrow, blood, and the lymphatic system, usually involving white blood cells. Leukemia accounts for approximately 30% of all childhood cancer. There are different types of leukemia, acute and chronic. The most common types include acute lymphocytic leukemia, and acute myelogenous leukemia.

Lymphoma: Lymphoma starts in lymphocytes which are immune system cells. Lymphoma will usually start in the lymph nodes, but it can also affect the bone marrow. There are two types, Hodgkin lymphoma, which usually affects older teens or young adults, and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is more commonly seen in children.

Brain and spinal cord tumors: These are the second most commonly seen types of childhood cancer. Unlike adult brain cancer, brain cancer in children is most likely to affect the lower parts of the brain, and there are various types of brain tumors.

Bone cancer: Bone cancers are not as commonly seen in very young children, but are more common among older kids and teens. The two most common bone cancers among children include Osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. 

Retinoblastoma: This is a type of cancer that affects the eye, and is most commonly diagnosed in children under the age of six. 

Rhabdomyosarcoma: This is a soft tissue sarcoma that affects the cells in the body that would generally turn into skeletal muscle.

Neuroblastoma: Neuroblastoma can start in utero in a developing baby, and a diagnosis is usually made in infants or young children. Generally, the tumor is noticed due to abdominal swelling.

Wilms tumor: Wilms tumor, aka nephroblastoma, starts in the kidneys (generally just one kidney) and generally presents with swelling in the abdomen. It is typically diagnosed between the ages of 3-4.   

How You Can Help the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

Survival rates for childhood cancer have improved due to new research and clinical methods. In order for this number to continue to improve, hospitals, charities, and the families battling childhood cancer need our help.

Below, you will find a list of different organizations that are helping against the fight of each of these illnesses. If you want to join in the fight against childhood cancer, want to get involved, or donate, read below to find out how you can help.

Childhood Leukemia Foundation: This foundation allows you to become a part of their Circle of Smile’s Monthly Donor Club where you can donate an iPad to a child fighting childhood Leukemia.    

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation: This organization is always asking for volunteers, donations, or anyone who wants to get involved in hosting a fundraiser to help the fight against childhood brain cancer.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand: Alex’s Lemonade Stand is a wonderful organization that helps with funding research, raising awareness, and supporting families. You can get involved a number of ways through donations to hosting your own lemonade stand event, or purchasing apparel from their website.

American Childhood Cancer Organization: America’s oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated to childhood cancer. There are various ways to get involved in this organization from donations to hosting corporate events to hosting a fundraiser or becoming a partner.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation: One of the most well-known childhood cancer foundations, The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps to grant a wish to a child diagnosed with a critical illness in the United States.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: St. Jude is able to help diagnose and treat children battling childhood cancer without ever sending families a medical bill due to funding. You can help by contributing today.

Get Involved During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is devastating, and childhood cancer is something that affects children in this country every single day. This month, we want to make it our mission to help spread awareness and help others understand how much of an impact any type of contribution can make.

Consider getting involved in an organization that speaks to you. Together, we can help fight childhood cancer and make a difference in the lives of the children that need us the most. 


Sources

American Childhood Cancer Organization. US Childhood Cancer Statistics. Accessed September 7, 2019 at https://www.acco.org/us-childhood-cancer-statistics/

American Cancer Society. Cancers That Develop in Children. Accessed September 7, 2019 at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-in-children/types-of-childhood-cancers.html

Cure Search. Childhood Cancer Statistics. Accessed September 7, 2019 at https://curesearch.org/Childhood-Cancer-Statistics

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