About 4,000 children die from cancer each year. That’s 11 children every single day, every single year.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is affected.
Treatment is often lengthy, and always time-consuming. Some diagnoses are treated outpatient for over three years; others require lengthy inpatient stays.
Siblings of children with cancer face an entire set of emotional challenges, from wondering if they are to blame for their sibling’s diagnosis, to feelings of jealousy for all the attention and gifts the child with cancer is receiving, to feeling abandoned by their parents as the parents (necessarily and expectedly) focus their time and energy on the child in treatment.
Cancer is NOT contagious.
Support (emotional, physical, maybe even financial) of the family IS contagious — and very much needed from everyone — from friends to neighbors to entire communities. When you know a child who is diagnosed with cancer, be the first one to offer support — others will follow.
Cancer is the #1 disease-related killer of children under the age of 14 years, next to accidents.
Childhood cancers are mostly those of the white blood cells (leukemia’s), brain, bone, the lymphatic system and tumors of the muscles, kidneys and nervous system. Each of these behaves differently. Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant disease seen at other times of life. The median age for childhood cancer is six. Children frequently have a more advanced stage of cancer when they are first diagnosed. 80% of children show that cancer has spread to distant sites in the body when the disease is first diagnosed.
Since most of the symptoms of cancer can also be attributed to benign conditions, the diagnosis of cancer can be a long process. You must trust your own instinct and work as a team with your doctor, using your knowledge of your child and your doctor’s knowledge of medicine to protect your child’s health.