Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death. Cancer is caused by both external and internal factors, and these factors act together or in sequence to initiate or promote the development of cancer.

  • Cancer is still the 2nd leading cause of death (following accidents) in children ages 5-14.
  • An estimated 10,450 new cases are expected to occur among children 0-14 in 2014.
  • 1,350 of these cases will result in death.
  • In adolescence ages 15-19 5,330 new cases will be expected with 610 resulting in death.
  • The most common cancers among children and adolesence vary by age. Cancers that are most common in children 0-14 are:
    • acute lymphocytic leukemia- 26%
    • brain and central nervous system- 21%
    • neuroblastoma- 7%
    • non-Hodgkin lymphoma- 6%
  • The most common cancers ages 15-19 are:
    • Hodgkin lymphoma- 15%
    • thyroid carcinoma- 11%
    • brain and central nervous system- 10%
    • testicular germ cell tumors- 8%

The main reason for listing the previous facts is to emphasize the importance of this fact: ALL types of childhood cancers combined receive only 4% of U.S. federal funding for cancer research.