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About 1,800 Children Die Of Cancer Every Year In The U.S.

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More than 15,000 children and adolescents up to 19 years old will receive a cancer diagnosis this year, according to the National Cancer Institute

After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14. Conditions most commonly affecting children include leukemia, lymphoma, and tumors affecting the bones or neural systems.

The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. An estimated 5 percent are caused by an inherited genetic mutation. Unlike most cancers affecting adults, childhood cancers aren't influenced by lifestyle choices or environmental factors. 

These biological distinctions often lead to rare cases or conditions that have yet to be studied, making reliable treatment more difficult to find for children and their families. Of the federal government cancer research dollars spent nationally, only 4 percent is dedicated to pediatric cancer.

Survivorship rates are improving with modern medicine, yet more than 75 percent of survivors will likely suffer from at least one chronic health condition. Up to one-third of childhood cancer survivors will become affected by a life-threatening condition later in life, often as a side-effect to previous treatment like chemotherapy. 

How is treating cancer in children different from treating it in adults? Why hasn't there been more investment in combating childhood cancer? How do children and families cope after a cancer diagnosis and treatment? 


This is a community conversation and we want to hear from you. Leave a voicemail with your questions and comments in advance by calling 210-615-8982. During the live show (12 - 1 p.m.), call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource.

Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.