Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month


There is so much still to be done regarding pediatric cancer. Huge strides, improvements and quality of life have been made in the last 10 years. If Ellie was diagnosed with a supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor in her brain just 15 years ago, she likely would not be here with us today. Heck, I don't even know if they would have had a name for the type of tumor she had back then. Lots of really positive changes have been made. I am grateful to the scientists, researchers, oncologists, & neurosurgeons that have greatly improved the length of life and the quality of that life for those suffering from cancer. Even with all these improvements, kids are still dying. If they aren't dying from cancer, they are dying from the chemotherapy treatment and its abrasive and toxic nature. I do believe cancer will be cured in my lifetime. I pray the breakthrough comes quickly and the map to turning off these mutant cancer cells is discovered.

September has been chosen as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I talked about the importance of that on Ellie's website. Please take a minute and read that entry. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ellie1

I 'officially' have the month of September to do my part and spread awareness. Tonight I will leave you with a few facts and figures from Candlelighters a website that puts the spotlight on pediatric cancer. Thanks for listening and spreading the word. Our kids are counting on us.

Childhood Cancer Facts

  • Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.
  • Each year in the U.S. over 12,600 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • Although the 5 year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children diagnosed with cancer will die 5 years from the time of diagnosis.
  • Cancer remains the number one disease killer of America's children - more than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Asthma and AIDS combined.
  • 80% of children have metastatic disease at time of diagnosis as compared to only 20% of adults.
  • There are currently more than 270,000 childhood cancer survivors in the U.S.
  • Late effects of childhood cancer treatment are common in survivors, and approximately one-third are moderate to severe.