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childhood cancer

1. Cancer is the number one disease killing children from age six months to young adulthood. It is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children.
2. Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class or geographic region.
3. Unlike adult cancers, the causes of most childhood cancers are still unknown and are not linked to lifestyle and environmental risk factors.
4. The incidence of childhood cancer is highest in the first five years of life, between ages zero to four years old).
5. Among infants, zero to one year old, the most common malignant cancers are neuroblastomas, followed by leukemias and central nervous system tumours.
6. Advances in cancer research and treatments have significantly improved the chances of survival for children in resource-rich countries like Canada.
7. In Canada today, about 80 per cent of children diagnosed with cancer will survive.
8. Survival often comes at a price. Despite advances in research, seventy-five per cent of children who survive cancer live with permanent side effects, which may include but are not limited to deafness, blindness, growth issues, motor impairments, cognitive difficulties, heart, kidney and fertility issues, psychological, neurological and endocrine disorders.
9. Although advances in research have improved the chances of survival, many children still die from the disease. High-risk cancers, including those of the central nervous system, certain leukemias, neuroblastomas and bone and soft tissue cancers, still have relatively low survival rates, as low as 7 per cent.
10. Childhood cancer is consistently underfunded, accounting for only three to five per cent of all cancer research funding.


1. More than 100 Alberta children will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
2. Every year, at least 20 Alberta children die from cancer.
3. In 2006, 1,826 Albertans had survived childhood cancer.


1. Every year, approximately 1,300 Canadian children are diagnosed with cancer.
2. In 2010, 160 Canadian children died from cancer.
3. In 2010, 7,641 Canadian children were living with cancer.


1. Each year, an estimated 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide and 90,000 of these children lose their life to the disease.
2. Eighty per cent of children with cancer live in developing nations and more than half of these kids will die because they lack access to prompt, effective treatment.
3. Every day, about 440 kids worldwide are diagnosed with the disease and some 250 die from cancer.
Note: Sources for the above statistics include Alberta Health Services, Canadian Cancer Society and the World Health Organization.


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