Families, caregivers, charities and research groups across the United States observe September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The objective is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, draw attention to survivorship issues, and raise funds for research and family support.
Childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death due in children ages 1-14. According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, 10,270 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States.
It is a diagnosis that dramatically changes the lives of the child and his or her family. If you are looking for a way to help families battling childhood cancer, consider:
- Telling a friend or colleague about childhood cancer.
- Running an errand for an affected family.
- Saying a prayer for an affected child or for all affected children.
- Raising money for childhood cancer research. These funds have directly contributed to the majority of childhood cancer patients being cured.
- Raising money to support a child or affected family to ease the burden of expensive care.
Ongoing advances in research and treatment have caused the five-year survival rate for all childhood cancers to increase from 50 percent to over 80 percent over the last few decades. However, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done. Researchers around the world continue to develop new therapies and explore the causes of the disease.
This month, we are reminded to feel blessed for the healthy children in our lives and to reach out to those affected by cancer.