Today is Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in Georgia, and September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. What does this mean for all of us, some of whom are struggling to overcome the effects of coronavirus? It means that life goes on, despite the virus, and children and their families are still being financially and emotionally impacted by childhood cancer.
Let’s raise cancer awareness together so more children can celebrate birthdays and special occasions, then go on to live long lives as thriving, happy adults.
“Childhood cancer (also called pediatric cancer) typically means a cancer that is found in children and teens, and sometimes young adults. It is not just one disease. There are many types, which can be found in different places throughout the body,” according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Cancer is diagnosed each year in about 175,000 children ages 14 and under worldwide.”
The facts may be sobering but raising awareness about childhood cancer is critical to forging ahead and drawing attention to an important health issue that crosses geographical boundaries and knows no limitations with respect to ethnic culture or home environment.
Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump proclaimed September to be National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In his proclamation, he states, “Over the last half century, substantial progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment of several types of childhood cancer. Yet our resolve to ensure that every child can grow up cancer-free has never been stronger. We remain dedicated to the goal of ending childhood cancer and continuing to improve the care that all of these children receive.”
The Trump Administration is “working with the Congress to invest $500 million over the next decade to provide our Nation’s best researchers and clinicians with unparalleled opportunities to better understand, treat, and ultimately cure childhood cancer. The National Cancer Institute is implementing the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative, which will collect, analyze, and share data to advance pediatric cancer breakthroughs. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration’s Pediatric Oncology program is working to accelerate the development of safe and effective new drugs to treat childhood cancers. These efforts will spur critical innovation in diagnoses, treatment, and prevention that will save lives.”
Increasing the Survival Rate
Research and treatment protocols have come a long way in recent years, and approximately “80% of U.S. childhood cancer patients now become long-term survivors,” reports St. Jude. But more research needs to be done to raise the survival rate and conquer childhood cancer, and research requires funding. Learn more about the American Cancer Society’s efforts to combat this illness.
As President Trump proclaimed, “During National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we honor the memory of the precious children and adolescents lost to cancer, and we pray for their families and friends as they remember their loved ones. We recommit to providing help, compassion, and encouragement to those children who are in the midst of a difficult battle. And we reaffirm our admiration and respect for the healthcare professionals who have continued to work tirelessly for these children during the coronavirus pandemic so that every child can enjoy a future filled with promise, good health, and hope.”