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Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month – January 2025

Children Impacted by Parent’s Cancer Month is observed annually in January. About one-third of cancer patients are diagnosed at an age when they are old enough to be parents. This relevant month was established by a social service organization called Camp Kesem to raise awareness about the children who become secondary sufferers as their lives, too, are disrupted by a parent’s cancer. Such children often undergo a great deal of confusion and anxiety during their parents’ treatment process.

History of Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month

The history of cancer dates back several millennia. Cancer occurs when cells in a certain area of the body start multiplying uncontrollably. One of the earliest pieces of evidence of cancer was found in the fossilized bone tumors discovered in Ancient Egyptian mummies, with corresponding recorded writings dating back to 3000 B.C. The word ‘cancer’ was introduced by Greek physician Hippocrates. He also used the terms like, ‘carcinos’ and ‘carcinomas’ to refer to ulcer-forming and non-ulcer-forming tumors. The Roman physician, Celsius, later coined the word ‘cancer,’ which was derived from these terms. The word ‘cancer’ is a Latin word for crab.

By the turn of the 15th century, scientists had developed a deeper understanding of the human body and various diseases. During the 18th century, John Hunter, a Scottish surgeon who is also known as the ‘father of scientific surgery,’ suggested that surgery could cure certain cancers. The invention of anesthesia triggered the practice of regular surgery to remove cancers that were still limited and had not spread to other parts in the body. During the 19th century, a German physician, Rudolf Virchow, did significant work in the field of cellular pathology. His studies helped to understand cancer even better. He also developed the study of tissues extracted during surgery, which enabled pathologists to ascertain whether the cancer was entirely removed from the body.

Modern developments in the medical sciences, including the invention of the X-ray machine in 1896, have made several significant cancer treatments possible. Chemotherapy was based on the discovery that nitrogen mustard could work against many types of cancer.

Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month timeline

3000 B.C.
Evidence of Cancer

Bodies with bone tumors are mummified and buried in ancient Egypt.

5th Century B.C.
The Etymology

The father of medicine, Hippocrates, uses the words ‘carcinos’ and ‘carcinomas’ for the first time.

19th Century
Cancer Surgery

The studies of the Scottish surgeon, John Hunter, claim that cancer can be operated on.

The X-ray

The X-ray machine is invented.

Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month FAQs

How many affected children are there?

About 2.85 million children are affected by the cancer of one or more of their parents.

How does cancer affect families?

A family member’s suffering and treatment cause immense stress to all other members.

Is cancer curable?

Yes, it is. Several treatments can cure cancer.

How to Observe Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month

  1. Learn about cancer

    To be able to empathize with and understand the trauma of children with one or both parents suffering from cancer, it is suggested that you learn more about this disease. This month is dedicated to gaining knowledge about cancer and its available treatment options.

  2. Offer support

    Do you know a child whose parent is suffering from cancer? You can step up and offer them your support.

  3. Direct them to resources

    Even if you are unable to provide support, you can direct these children and their parents toward resources to help them navigate such turbulent times. These resources can be counseling groups, support groups, and communities.

5 Important Facts About Cancer

  1. Mortality

    The top cause of death the world over is cancer, which claims almost 10 million lives every year.

  2. Not always fatal

    Cancer does not lead to death in every case, in fact, more than half of all cancers are preventable.

  3. Economic disparity

    Around 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries.

  4. The annual cost

    The total economic cost of cancer is a whopping $1.16 trillion.

  5. Unique mutations

    The genetic mutations in every person's cancer are unique.

Why Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month is Important

  1. It encourages cancer awareness

    Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month encourages cancer awareness. It makes people more receptive towards the plight of children who are affected.

  2. It highlights the struggle of a specific group

    Children of cancer patients often go through extremely traumatic experiences. Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month raises awareness about their lives and experience.

  3. It sparks an important conversation

    Children in such a situation can become vulnerable. This month initiates relevant conversations regarding what we, as a society, can do to support these children.

Children Impacted by Parent's Cancer Month dates

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