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Childhood cancer Statistics

Childhood cancer specifically affects children, teens and young adults.


how is childhood cancer different from cancers that develop in adults?

The types of cancers that develop in children are often different from the types that develop in adults. Childhood cancers are often the result of DNA changes in cells that take place very early in life, sometimes even before birth. Unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors. (American Cancer Society 2014)

Where does cancer come from?

Cancer begins when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. (American Cancer Society 2014) Watch this video to learn how cancer cells behave differently from healthy cells:


How do cells become cancer cells?

Cells become cancer cells because of damage to DNA. DNA is in every cell and directs all its actions. In a normal cell, when DNA is damaged the cell either repairs the damage or the cell dies. In cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired, but the cell doesn’t die like it should. Instead, this cell goes on making new cells that the body does not need. These new cells will all have the same damaged DNA as the first cell does. (American Cancer Society 2014)


Did You Know?


Worldwide, every 3 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer.


Cancer kills more children in the U.S. than any other disease.


Despite great advances in how childhood cancer is treated, the reality is 1 in 5 children with cancer will still die of their disease within 5 years.

What are the Most Common Types of Cancers in Children?

For children ages 0 – 14, the most common types of cancers are acute lymphocytic leukemia (26%), brain and CNS (21%), neuroblastoma (7%) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (6%). (American Cancer Society 2014)

For adolescents ages 15 – 19, the most common types of cancers are Hodgkin lymphoma (15%), thyroid carcinoma (11%), brain and CNS (10%) and testicular germ cell tumors (8%). (American Cancer Society 2014)

Additional Resources

Learn more about childhood cancer research taking place right now inside the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center

#PartnersInTheFight to conquer childhood cancer

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