Pediatric Cancer Facts

  1. Cancer is still the leading cause of death from disease among U.S. children over one year of age. Cancer kills more children than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, AIDS, asthma and juvenile diabetes combined.
  2. In the United States, among children, from birth to age 19, more than 18,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed each year.
  3. Currently, one in every 330 children in the United States develops cancer before the age of nineteen. The incidence of cancer among children is increasing. Each school day, enough children are diagnosed with childhood cancer to empty two classrooms.
  4. While progress against childhood cancer has been made, cure rates for some pediatric cancers remain below 50 percent.
  5. Pediatric Cancer receives 3% charitable donations from the National Cancer Institute. Breast Cancer receives 45%. Because of lack of sufficient research and development, the causes of childhood cancers are still largely unknown.
  6. Childhood cancer is not one disease entity, but rather is a spectrum of different malignancies. Cancers found in children are biologically different from those seen in adults.
  7. The 10 most common types of childhood cancer are as follows:
    1. Leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia)
    2. CNS, brain, and spinal cord tumors
    3. Lymphomas, (including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
    4. Skin cancer and melanomas
    5. Soft tissue tumors (including rhabdomyosarcoma)
    6. Germ cell tumors
    7. Neuroblastoma
    8. Bone cancers (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)
    9. Renal cancer (including Wilms tumor)
    10. Retinoblastoma
  8. Over the past twenty years only TWO new cancer drugs have been approved for pediatric use.
  9. September is National Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
  10. The color is Gold. 


  • National Cancer Institute
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results/National Cancer Institute
  • Blood, Vol. 99: 4257-4264, June 15, 2002, No. 12
  • New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 360:2730-2741, June 25, 2009, No. 26