Cancer in children occurs when formerly-healthy cells mutate, and replicate much more than they should. When that happens, they can also destroy nearby healthy cells and invade different parts of the body.
Researchers still do not know much about what causes cancer in children. Most children’s cancers are caused by random genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. For some of these mutations, there are some environmental and genetic factors that can contribute to the cancer growing. But we still do not know what causes most childhood cancers.
Key Facts about Childhood Cancer:
- Cancer is the #1 disease killer of American’s children-killing more kids every year than every other disease combined.
- 1 out of 8 children diagnosed with cancer will not survive.
- Each school day, 43 kids will be diagnosed with cancer.
- More than 40,000 kids are in cancer treatment each year.
- The incidence of childhood cancer has increased about 29% over the last 20 years.
- Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.
- In the last 20 years, only 3 cancer medications have been specifically developed for children.
- Less than 3% of funds donated to the American Cancer Institute benefit childhood cancer (all types combined).