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Childhood Cancer Facts: By the Numbers

Every year, an estimated 250,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide. Despite this, childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.

Look at The Facts and Figures Behind the Devastating Disease

  • Childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.

  • Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S.

  • One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old.

  • Every year, an estimated 250,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide.

  • Two-thirds of childhood cancer patients will have long lasting chronic conditions from treatment.

  • Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group; socioeconomic class; or geographic region. In the United States, the incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other age group, except those over 65 years.

  • Childhood cancer is not just one disease. It is made up of a dozen types and countless subtypes.

Estimated Cases for Childhood and Adolescent Cancers, US, 2014

Children (Ages 0-14)

 

Acute lymphocytic leukemia
2,670 (26%)
Brain and CNS
2,240 (21%)
Neuroblastoma*
710 (7%)
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
620 (6%)
Wilms tumor
510 (5%)
Acute myeloid leukemia
500 (5%)
Bone tumors†
450 (4%)
Hodgkin lymphoma
380 (4%)
Rhabdomyosarcoma
340 (3%)
Retinoblastoma
280 (3%)
All sites
10,450

Adolescents (Ages 15-19)

 

Hodgkin lymphoma
800 (15%)
Thyroid carcinoma
570 (11%)
Brain and CNS
540 (10%)
Testicular germ cell tumors
430 (8%)
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
420 (8%)
Acute lymphocytic leukemia
410 (8%)
Bone tumors†
370 (7%)
Melanoma
310 (6%)
Acute myeloid leukemia
230 (4%)
Ovarian germ cell tumors
110 (2%)
All sites
5,330

Estimates are for malignant cancers only and are rounded to the nearest 10. In addition, 730 children and 630 adolescents will be diagnosed with benign and borderline brain tumors in 2014.
CNS = central nervous system
* Includes ganglioneuroblastoma.
†Bone tumors include osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.                                                                                                                           ©2014, American Cancer Society, Inc.

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