Neuroblastoma is a common and often difficult to treat cancer; the most common cancer in infancy. (UCSF) In the United States, about 700 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year. (UCSF)
It is the most common tumor found in children younger than 1 year of age.
Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.
Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
There is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma.
Nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed with neuroblastoma have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. When disease has spread at diagnosis and a child is over the age of 2, there is approximately a 40% chance of survival.
Childhood Cancer Facts
There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
The American Cancer Society spends less than 70 cents of each 100 dollars raised on childhood cancer.
Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children–more children die of cancer than of Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Pediatric AIDS combined.
Sadly, over 2,300 children with cancer die each year.
Every year 13,500 children under 18 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. (Centers for Disease Control and Children’s Oncology Group)
1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by age 20. (St. Baldrick’s Foundation)
Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant diseases at other times in life.
80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.
Detecting childhood cancers at an early stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, is extremely difficult.
Cancer symptoms in children – fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection – are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.
Even with insurance coverage, a family will have out-of pocket expenses of about $40,000 per year, not including travel.
Treatment can continue for several years, depending on the type of cancer and the type of therapy given.
Due to the toxicity of treatments, 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a chronic health problem by the age of 45; 80% will have severe or life-threatening conditions. (St. Baldrick’s Foundation)
What Causes Childhood Cancer?
Every family is potentially at risk.
In almost all cases, childhood cancers arise from non-inherited mutations (or changes) in the genes of growing cells.
As these errors occur randomly and unpredictably, there is currently no effective way to predict or prevent them.
Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupational hazards and exposure to other cancer causing agents.