​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Facts about Pediatric Brain Tumors and Childhood Cancer


Incidence of Childhood Cancer:

  • Cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children in the US. 1 in 285 children in the US will develop cancer by the age of 20.  (American Childhood Cancer Organization)
  • The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown, and for the most part, these diseases cannot be prevented.  (Cancer.gov)  
  • 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer will die within 5 years.  1 in 3 children with cancer will not have a normal life span.  (National Center for Health Statistics) 
  • More than 4,000 children are diagnosed with a brain tumor each year.  Malignant brain tumors are the second most common form of childhood cancer, representing about 20% of all childhood cancers.  Brain tumors are the leading cancer-related deaths for children under 14.  (National Brain Tumor Society)


Long Term Health Effects from Treatments:

  • ​Current treatment options are limited, and can result in damaging long-term side effects to a child.  Some long term side effects include physical disabilities; learning disabilities; behavioral changes; hearing and vision loss; hormonal problems including slowed growth and infertility; damage to internal organs; and risk of developing secondary cancers.  (American Brain Tumor Association)
  • 60% to more than 90% of pediatric cancer survivors develop one or more chronic health conditions from treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.  (Cancer.gov)
  • 20% to 80% experience severe life-threatening complications during adulthood from the treatments they received as a child.  (Cancer.gov)  


Funding Disparities:

  • Childhood cancer receives only 4% of federal funding for cancer research.  In 2014, the NCI budget was $4.9 billion, and childhood cancer received only $196 million.
  • Since 1980, only three drugs - two for ALL(Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) and one for neuroblastoma (which was just approved in March 2015) - have been approved by the FDA to treat childhood cancer.  Whereas, the FDA has approved hundreds of drugs developed for adults.  Most of the chemotherapies used for children's cancers are over 30 years old.  

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