September is childhood cancer awareness month.
You may think to yourself, “I am aware that there is childhood cancer” but, you may not be aware of these facts…
Cancer is a disease in which the body’s cells grow abnormally (mutate). With some cancers, the cells group together and form a lump of tissue called a tumor, (Children’s Cancer Research Fund).
14,583 kids will be diagnosed with cancer this month alone, (St. Baldrick’s Blog).
1 in every 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer. In the U.S., one out of every five children with cancer will not survive, (St. Baldrick’s Blog).
The major types of cancers in children ages 0 to14 years are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and neuroblastoma, which are expected to account for more than half of new cases in 2015, (National Cancer Institute).
NCI is the nation’s leader in cancer research, (National Cancer Institute). Unlike cancer in adults, the cause of cancer in children is often unknown. Children’s cancers do not always act like, get treated like, or respond like adult cancers. In rare cases, other factors, such as exposure to certain viruses, chemicals, high birth weight, or radiation play a role, (Children’s Cancer Research Fund).
About 60% of all funding for drug development in adult cancers comes from pharmaceutical companies. For kids? Almost none, because childhood cancer drugs are not profitable, (St. Baldricks).
Common types of treatment:
- Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors using strong medicine. This treatment usually requires several sessions and has side effects. These can include tiredness, hair loss, nausea, and vomiting.
- Surgery to remove all or part of a tumor.
- Radiation to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors using high-energy waves, (Children’s Cancer Research Fund).
- Immunotherapy helps your immune system fight cancer
- Hormone therapy slows or stops the growth of cancer that uses hormones to grow.
- Stem cell transplant restores blood-forming stem cells in people who have had theirs destroyed by high doses of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, (National Cancer Institute)
Late effects in childhood cancer survivors affect the body and mind.
- Organs, tissues, and body function.
- Growth and development.
- Mood, feelings, and actions.
- Thinking, learning, and memory.
- Social and psychological adjustment.
- Risk of second cancers.
Treatments that may cause late effects include the following:
How you can help
You can help by spreading awareness. Not just awareness of that fact that children get cancer. But, awareness of the fact that childhood cancer is not receiving the appropriate funding, because it is “not profitable.”
Donate to a local fundraiser, or family in need.
Use the hashtags #GoGold, #Morethan4 and #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth on social media.
I am going gold this month for Maddie Grace Warrior Princess who is fighting cancer for the seventh time. Through the end of September, I’ll be donating 50% of proceeds from all merchandise and album sales to the Major family.