February 15th is…
International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day
The Month of February is National Cancer Prevention Month
International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day (ICCD) has been observed each February 15th since 2002. Over 65 countries worldwide now participate in the event.
- 250,000 children in the world get cancer each year!
- Each year, more than 160,000 children die of cancer, worldwide!
Approximately 75-80% of children who have cancer who live in high income countries (like ours) can expect to survive. As I’ve written in previous posts, although those numbers may seem fairly high at a glance, it still means that 1 in 4 will die within just the first 5 years after diagnosis, & odds plummet with relapses & are much lower for certain of the childhood cancer types. When you watch even one child suffer or die – whether that’s your own or one you’ve come to care about from afar… just ANY child, anywhere… I can tell you it’s one too many. Over just the past few years I’ve been a witness to the suffering & deaths of scores of children due to childhood cancers.
Now flip those statistics around. As heart-wrenching as the situation is in our country, already, when we widen our view to include the global picture, it gets enormously more desperate. In low income countries the statistics are basically reversed; and (while survival rates vary considerably) typically more than 80% of young cancer victims die. Adding to their suffering, essential palliative care for these children and their families barely exists in these countries. Because 4 out of 5 children live in developing countries, they do not get access to diagnosis and treatment which could prevent 100,000 of these children dying, each year.
Brain tumors are now considered to be the greatest cause of childhood cancer mortality in the age group 0-14, in a number of countries. The International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA) & the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) have issued a joint statement ICCD, calling for greater attention to be given to childhood brain tumors.
One example of the global childhood cancer situation played out in the last summer Olympics: Olympic gymnast Oksana Chusovitina had to move from Russia to Germany in order to get adequate treatment for her son, when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Once there (yet uninsured) a village of support rose up to champion funding for the treatment to help save him. She continued on in the sport in order to keep her son alive.
What does the face of childhood cancer look like to children who have it? We have the opportunity to get a glimpse into it via the photos submitted by children around the world for a poster project. Click on the link below to view 80 different photo-posters from children with cancers from various countries. The 2005 theme was children at their hospitals.
The aim of the IPCAD is to help children with cancer get the best possible treatment and care, no matter where they live in the world, by raising both awareness and money.
For More Information, Visit:
A Program of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC)
Awareness is an essential element for this critical health issue & all others:
- Better funding accelerates research exponentially – shortening the time it takes to bring new discoveries forward.
- Research, itself, brings better treatments & care, prevention, & the hope for a cure.
- Awareness brings more attention to the issues… which brings in more funding for research.
(Click for more on this previous/continuing Care-Aware series.)
Join in with PAC2 [click]
(Grassroots awareness movement for Childhood Cancers.)
Care-Aware is a member!
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