September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

p16_Ariana-Riccio1Childhood Cancer Facts from

  • The gold ribbon is the official ribbon of children with cancer worldwide, supported, recognized and promoted by hundreds of organizations and treatment centers, families, friends, and caregivers.
  • Over 12,400 children (in the United States) are diagnosed with cancer each year.  That's a classroom full of children every single day, year after year.
  • Currently, one in every 330 children in the United States develops cancer before the age of nineteen. The incidence of cancer among children is increasing. Each school day, enough children are diagnosed with childhood cancer to empty two classrooms! (*NCCF)
  • About 4,000 children die from cancer each year.  That's 11 children every single day, every single year.
  • When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is affected.
  • Treatment is often lengthy, and always time-consuming. Some diagnoses are treated outpatient for over three years; others require lengthy inpatient stays.
  • Siblings of children with cancer face an entire set of emotional challenges, from wondering if they are to blame for their sibling's diagnosis, to feelings of jealousy for all the attention and gifts the child with cancer is receiving, to feeling abandoned by their parents as the parents (necessarily and expectedly) focus their time and energy on the child in treatment.
  • Cancer is NOT contagious.
  • Support (emotional, physical, maybe even financial) of the family IS contagious -- and very much needed from everyone -- from friends to neighbors to entire communities. When you know a child who is diagnosed with cancer, be the first one to offer support -- others will follow.
Cancer is the #1 disease-related killer of children under the age of 14 years, next to accidents.

Childhood cancers are mostly those of the white blood cells (leukemia's), brain, bone, the lymphatic system and tumors of the muscles, kidneys and nervous system. Each of these behaves differently. Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant disease seen at other times of life. The median age for childhood cancer is six. Children frequently have a more advanced stage of cancer when they are first diagnosed. 80% of children show that cancer has spread to distant sites in the body when the disease is first diagnosed. Although it is unlikely that your child will develop cancer, as a parent, you need to be aware of the symptoms of childhood cancer. Observe your child for any sudden, persistent changes in health or behavior as listed on the Signs of Childhood Cancer page. Since most of the symptoms of cancer can also be attributed to benign conditions, the diagnosis of cancer can be a long process. You must trust your own instinct and work as a team with your doctor, using your knowledge of your child and your doctor's knowledge of medicine to protect your child's health.

Please visit the American Childhood Cancer Organization for more information.

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There are many things we want to pass on to our loved ones, illness is not one of them